A global renewable energy giant has contracted ESC as an environmental consultant to oversee the planning phase for its proposed 15MW Hydropower facility in the Meukup River, Aceh Province, Indonesia. The development adds to ESC’s growing portfolio of renewable energy collaborations in Asia.
Under the terms of the agreement, ESC will conduct an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and an AMDAL study – Indonesia’s national standard for environmental impact assessment. The company requires the surveys in order to secure the international financing and national permits it needs for the commencement of the construction phase of the project.
Tapping Indonesia’s hydropower potential
Due to its unique geographical features, the potential for hydropower and geothermal energy generation in Indonesia is huge. However, with the country only utilising roughly 2% of this potential, its renewable resources remain largely untapped. The development at the Meukup River reflects an accelerating trend across Southeast Asia towards making greater use of greener forms of energy. The finished plant will provide an abundance of reliable and renewable energy to help Indonesia meet its growing electricity demand while reducing its reliance on fossil fuels.
Given the project’s sensitive location in a densely forested area, the bar for receiving the go-ahead to begin construction is understandably set quite high in terms of impact mitigation. Because of its unrivalled experience in conducting regulatory planning studies in Asia, ESC is seen as a safe pair of hands to make sure the company’s environmental and social due-diligence is up to scratch during the pre-feasibility and feasibility stages of the development, and to ensure compliance with international regulatory standards.
Environmental consultants that lead the field
Running the project for ESC is a group of highly experienced consultants, each bringing their own set of skills to the table. Consisting of ESIA and social specialist, Toby Nugent; social specialist, Mahrizal Paru; environmental specialist, Rahayu Indah Komalasari.; and biodiversity specialist Entol Mochamad Aaf Afnan, the team will oversee work at the site over four key phases:
- Phase One: Scoping and Risk Analysis to determine the project’s key logistics and plan the way forward.
- Phase Two: Baseline Surveys conducted in both dry season and wet season to study the current extent of plant and animal life in the area – including a dedicated elephant study – and to observe and engage with local communities.
- Phase Three: AMDAL study to examine the potential environmental impacts of the development along with possible mitigation measures, with a final report (ANDAL) produced upon its conclusion.
- Phase Four: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) to be completed in line with IFC performance standards, and Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) produced to determine the client’s responsibilities with regard to biodiversity offsetting, livelihood restoration and so on.
Clearing the path towards sustainability in hydropower
The comprehensive and integrated planning solutions offered by ESC on projects such as the hydropower development at the Meukup River are only made possible by the quality and experience of its consultants. The company is fortunate enough to be able to draw on a vast pool of local knowledge and global expertise when helping its clients limit the environmental and social impacts of their activities and comply with both national and international regulatory standards. In having such a diverse and reliable team at its disposal, ESC has become one of the most trusted names in environmental consultancy for renewable hydropower projects in Indonesia and beyond.