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Jakarta Post

Batang Toru Dam construction goes on amid concerns for rarest apes, villagers

  • Apriadi Gunawan

    The Jakarta Post

Medan   /   Thu, January 31, 2019   /  11:59 am
The Jakarta Post Image
An aerial view of land cleared as a staging area for the construction of a hydroelectric dam in the Batang Toru ecosystem, the only known habitat of the Tapanuli orangutans, on Sumatra Island, on Aug. 20, 2018. (SUMATRAN ORANGUTAN CONSERVATION PROGRAMME/AFP/Nanang Sujana)

Construction of the Batang Toru hydropower plant in Tapanuli Selatan regency has continued despite concerns for the “last 800” of the world’s rarest big ape and lawsuits lodged by an environmental group. PT North Sumatera Hydro Energy (NSHE), the operator of the hydropower plant (PLTA), touted to be “environmentally friendly”, aims to open the 510-megawatt plant in 2022. NSHE’s senior executive for external relations, Firman Taufick, said the power plant, which cost Rp 22 trillion, was a “green investment” to help the country reach the 35,000-megawatt target. “The investment for the Batang Toru PLTA is not small and involves many stakeholders. We are committed to continuing the construction of the power plant and operating it in 2022,” he said in Medan on Wednesday. Read also: Batang Toru dam will affect orangutans a...