ECO is totally shocked! Despite the strong criticisms over Japan’s tremendous overseas coal investments, it seems Japan still cannot hear the chorus of voices. Or maybe it is just ignoring them since we continue to hear very discouraging news that more new coal investments are under development.
Just before this COP, Japanese trading company Marubeni and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) signed a concession contract with the Vietnamese government to build the Nghi Son 2, a 1200MW supercritical coal-fired power plant. This is a 25-year power purchase agreement with Vietnam’s state-owned Electricity of Vietnam (EVN). The financial agreement to fund this power plant has not yet been finalized, but it is highly concerning that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) as well as other Japanese commercial banks have agreed to provide the loan to finance this.
On Tuesday, JBIC announced it had disbursed the first loan for the controversial Cirebon 2 coal project, which Marubeni and JERA have invested in. This happened even though the validity of the new environment permit was still in question. JBIC ignored local residents’ strong plea not to provide a loan for Cirebon 2, thereby preventing further damage to their livelihoods. This situation put local residents in a very difficult situation. They are already suffering from the loss of livelihoods due to the Cirebon 1 (660 MW), which the JBIC also financed.
It’s unfathomable that such a deal could be completed considering the growing consensus on global coal phase-out!
Moreover, the situation in Indonesia is getting more serious. JBIC has recently financed Batang, Tanjung Jati B expansion, and Lontar coal power plants. The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is also considering financing the Indramayu coal power plant. These projects are all located in Java Island, and their total capacity is set to be 6455MW if they’re all carried out.
But that’s not all! JBIC is considering financing at least 8 new coal projects all over the world, including projects in Vietnam and Botswana, as well as Indonesia.
Japan: this is enough. Stop funding dirty energy projects, now!