Save the Tapanuli orangutan

Red Rock Power: say no to orangutan habitat destruction

The Batang Toru Dam is being built right in the middle of the Tapanuli orangutan’s habitat in Indonesia - threatening the survival of the world’s most endangered species of great ape. This disastrous dam project was recently bought by Chinese company State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC). We call on SDIC’s Scotland-based subsidiary Red Rock Power to formally raise the dam project with their parent company, and implore them to halt the dam’s construction before it’s too late.

Read our open letter calling on the Scottish Government and Red Rock Power to take action to stop the Batang Toru dam, supported by Indonesian and Scottish NGOs alongside international scientists and conservationists.

The rarest great ape in the world

In 2017, scientists stunned the world with the identification of a new species of great ape — the Tapanuli orangutan. Numbering fewer than 800, they are the most endangered species of great ape in the world.

They are found only in the Batang Toru ecosystem in North Sumatra, Indonesia. But their fragile ecosystem is under threat with a dam being built in the middle of their habitat.

Tapanuli orangutans near Camp Mayang, Batang Toru forest, May 2019. 
[Aditya Sumitra for Image Dynamics/Mighty Earth]

Tapanuli orangutan near Camp Mayang, Batang Toru forest, May 2019. Credit: Aditya Sumitra for Image Dynamics/Mighty Earth

What's the link with Scotland?

Dam developers SDIC Power also own & operate wind farms across Scotland under the name Red Rock Power, with offices in Edinburgh. We are calling for Red Rock Power to be excluded from future ScotWind leasing rounds (to build more windfarms) whilst the company is threatening the survival of the Tapanuli orangutan and the lives and livelihoods of those who live in the Batang Toru region.

“Scotland’s urgent renewable energy transition can be delivered without benefiting corporations that pose a threat to global biodiversity and human rights. Red Rock Power will remain unfit to bid for new wind farm leases until its parent company, SDIC, abandons this dam project and the Tapanuli orangutan’s survival is secured.”  Nick Cullen, Mighty Earth

Read more…

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon welcomes SDIC / Red Rock Power to Scotland. Credit: Scottish Government, CC BY-NC 2.0

Red Rock Power: save the Tapanuli orangutan

We’re asking Scotland-based Red Rock Power to call on its parent company, SDIC, to drop the Batang Toru dam project. As a renewable energy firm in Scotland, Red Rock is uniquely positioned  to champion the threatened Tapanuli orangutan.

We call on Red Rock Power to formally raise the dam project with parent company SDIC, and implore SDIC to:

•  Review the purchase of the Batang Toru Dam

•  Pause further construction

•  Commit to a public, independent impact assessment of the project as well as a long-term conservation management plan for the Tapanuli orangutan and the Batang Toru ecosystem.


Add your name to tell Red Rock Power: Call on SDIC to drop the dam:

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A devastating project for workers and locals

Tragically, the dam’s construction has cost the lives of 17 construction workers and local people in just two years, after a series of landslides and tunnel collapses.

With the project site adjacent to an earthquake hotspot, there are real fears of major and catastrophic earthquake-driven disasters for communities living downstream.

The dam itself will cause major flooding of the valley, displacing people who live and work on the land.

Batang Toru Dam construction works. Credit: K Brooks.

The Scottish Parliament. Credit: Bernt Rostad, CC BY 2.0

People power has worked before!

Action by millions of people around the world calling out the dam’s previous financiers, Bank of China, forced the company to review the project in 2019, and eventually pull out. Other financiers including Goldman Sachs, the International Finance Corporation and the Asian Development Bank have refused to fund or have pulled out of the project, citing social and corporate responsibility concerns. 

With enough public pressure, we’re confident that Red Rock Power and SDIC will do the right thing and stop their support of this toxic project.


Mighty Earth in Montreal to save world's rarest great ape.

Latest News

Conservationists urge Yousaf to act over Indonesian dam threat to rare orangutan
The Independent, 12 September 2023

Batang Toru Hydroelectric Power Plant: Land Dispute & Another Casualty
Mongabay, 27 July 2023

International Orangutan Day: How the Scottish Government could play a key role in saving the extinction-threatened Tapanuli orangutan
The Scotsman, 19 August 2023

Norwegian Pension Fund Excludes Chinese Company Over Orangutan Extinction Concerns
Mighty Earth, 07 July 2023

Why is Scotland silent on the scandal of Batang Toru?
The Herald, 05 June 2023

Satya Bumi Public Environmental Discussion Hampered by Infiltrator
Tempo, 09 March 2023

Alba report details state-owned energy firms operating in Scotland
The National, 24 January 2023

Fury over China & UAE multi-million offshore wind profits in Scotland
The Herald, 22 January 2023

Nicola Sturgeon Urged to Save the World's Rarest Great Ape
MSN, 14 December 2022

COP15 Urged to Protect the Diminishing Tapanuli Orangutan
Tempo, 5 December 2022

Tunnel collapse at dam project in orangutan habitat claims yet another life
Mongabay, 21 November 2022

‘Cursed’ dam project in orangutan habitat claims 16th life in less than 2 years
Mongabay, 24 August 2022

Chinese state-owned company accused of endangering rare orangutans
FT, 18 June, 2022

Chinese state-owned firm lobbied government to reduce wind farm rents
The Ferret, 29 April, 2022

Sturgeon defends wind contracts amid claims of ‘woeful human rights records’
Insider, 20 January 2022

Windfall: one third of Scotland’s biggest wind farms linked to tax havens
The Ferret, 13 July 2021

Migrants building £2.6bn windfarm paid fraction of minimum wage
The Guardian, 21 October 2018

Nicola Sturgeon accused of 'trampling on local democracy' over controversial Chinese wind farm plan
The Daily Record, 13 April 2018

First Minister welcomes SDIC to Scotland
Scottish Government, 15 November 2016

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