Aceh's coastline damaged by PT Lafarge Cement Indonesia's coal spill

Aceh's coastline damaged by PT Lafarge Cement Indonesia's coal spill
07 August 2018

PT Lafarge Cement Indonesia, (LafargeHolcim) is likely to face a hefty environmental clear up bill after a barge spilt 700t of coal off the Sumatra coast, polluting beaches, damaging coral and impacting marine life.

The incident occurred on July 30, when the barge, reportedly carrying coal to the Aceh cement factory,  was hit by high waves just 100m (330ft) off Lampuuk Beach in Aceh Besar district, on the northern tip of Sumatra.

"The coal spill has damaged corals, affected the marine life, and even the beach has turned black as it’s covered in coal," Kamaruddin, a local fisherman, told Mongabay Indonesia.

Imran, the leader of a local community-based maritime watchdog, said his organisation was in talks with representatives from the cement company to address the pollution.

"Because the company failed to respond immediately, the coal has polluted the beach and damaged the coral. Lots of fish and crabs have died," he said. "The coal must be cleaned away immediately so that this won't get worse."

The incident has also reportedly affected local tourism, with visitors avoiding the coal-strewn beach.

Mawardi Ali, the Aceh Besar district chief, has called on all parties in the case to take swift action to prevent the pollution from spreading to other coastal ecosystems.

Published under Cement News