The Jakarta Post
The government said local residents should be well-informed regarding a planned geothermal power plant near Mount Rajabasa in South Lampung regency so as to avoid controversy.
Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan said he hoped that the development of the power plant by geothermal producer PT Supreme Energy could be implemented without causing any disputes with local people.
'The project being planned needs to be introduced to the local communities [and they must be kept informed on progress],' Zulkifli said in Bandar Lampung on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.
Zulkifli said his ministry would issue forestry permits for areas near Mt. Rajabasa, but only if local communities approved the project, which he added would contribute to people's prosperity.
'If local people are not happy about the project, I think we need to be patient,' he said, adding that the commencement of any project without approval from local communities would probably trigger problems for relevant parties.
Zulkifli said more had to be done to raise people's awareness, to let them know the 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 tell them about the project, and we have also asked the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry to do the same,' he said.
He added that the Forestry Ministry had issued permits for geothermal energy projects in 30 locations across Indonesia but exploration permits for Mt. Bedugul in Bali and Mt. Rajabasa in South Lampung had yet to be issued.
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