The Jakarta Post
Locals should be consulted on the development of the geothermal power plant being planned near Mount Rajabasa in South Lampung regency so that it will not spark controversy and be rejected by indigenous people living in the surrounding areas, a minister has said.
Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said it was hoped that the development of a geothermal power plant (PLTP) in Mt.Rajabasa, South Lampung, by geothermal producer PT Supreme Energy could be implemented without causing any conflicts with local people.
'The project being planned needs to be continuously introduced to the local communities,' said Zulkifli in Bandar Lampung on Sunday, as quoted by Antara news agency.
Zulkifli said the Forestry Ministry would issue forestry permits, popularly known as borrow-to-use permits, for forest areas in Mt.Rajabasa only if local communities approved the project, which he said was for the sake of people's prosperity.
'If the local people make a fuss over the project, I think we need to be a bit more patient,' he said, adding that the commencement of a project without approval from local communities would probably trigger more problems for related parties.
Zulkifli said more needed to be done to make people more aware that the geothermal power plant was a government project, and most importantly that geothermal energy was renewable and environmentally-friendly.
'I have visited local communities in the area to introduce the project, and we have also asked the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to also take part in introducing the program to the locals,' said Zulkifli.
He added that the Forestry Ministry had issued permits for geothermal energy projects in 30 locations across Indonesia. Only exploration permits for Mt.Bedugul in Bali and Mt.Rajabasa in South Lampung had yet to be issued. (ebf)
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