Japanese ECA finances Indonesian coal plant despite widespread opposition

(Banktrack, Nijmegen, 28 February 2017) As financial close was announced on the Tanjung Jati B 2 (TJB2) coal expansion power project in Indonesia yesterday, BankTrack, Friends of the Earth Japan and 350.org Japan criticised the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and several Japanese and Singaporean banks for their support for the project. JBIC’s approval of a USD 1.7 billion loan agreement for the project, with further backing from the “big three” Japanese commercial banks - Mizuho Bank, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation – as well as other Japanese banks and Singapore’s OCBC, comes after French banks Société Générale and Crédit Agricole withdrew from the bank consortium in December. The building of two new coal power units will make the already hard-felt impacts of the existing Tanjung Jati B coal power station worse. The local fishing community cites reduced catches, damage to the coral reef and collisions between fishing boats and coal transport barges. It will also worsen the impacts of air pollution. A Greenpeace report has estimated that the first four units are already responsible for 1,020 premature deaths per year because of respiratory infections caused by air pollution from the plant.