Groups plan to file suits against proposed Sabah power plant

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 27 May 2010

KOTA KINABALU: A controversial coal-fired power plant in Sabah’s east coast Lahad Datu district is headed for the courts.

Environmentalists and other concerned groups are planning a series of suits over the proposed 300MW plant at the Felda Sahabat development scheme.

“We feel that we are quickly exhausting other avenues over this project. The next recourse is the courts,” Sabah Environmental Pro­tection Association (Sepa) president Wong Tack said yesterday.

He said Sepa and other groups such as the Sandakan Anti-Coal Committee had members who were lawyers and were preparing the basis for the suits.

“Among the things we are looking at is false information in the terms of reference for the environmental impact assessment of the project.

“We are also looking at whether a coal plant can be built in an area earmarked for agriculture,” Wong added.

He said Sepa would also be seeking opinions of villagers living in the area.

“We met the villagers earlier and they told us they were worried that their food sources would be endangered because of the project,” Wong said.

He added that there were indications that the project could harm the environment in an ecologically sensitive area, namely the Darvel Bay that was part of the internationally-renowned coral triangle.

Wong said there were sufficient natural gas reserves as well as oil palm biomass to meet the state’s energy needs.

The project, first mooted in 2008, was moved three times from Silam near Lahad Datu to Sandakan, and now to Tengku, near Lahad Datu, following environmental concerns.

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