Red Rock Power: Say No to Orangutan Habitat Destruction

11 February 2023 News


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). 

Ape Alliance member Mighty Earth is calling 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.

You can add your name to tell Red Rock Power to call on SDIC to drop the dam on Mighty Earth's website. 

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.

What's the Link With Scotland? 

The dam has been bought by the State Development & Investment Corporation (SDIC) of China.

SDIC is active in Scotland through its wholly owned subsidiary company, Red Rock Power.

SDIC / Red Rock Power operate wind farms in southern Scotland and the North Sea and have offices in central Edinburgh.

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.

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.

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.

You can help influence Red Rock Power and SDIC to halt the dam by signing Mighty Earth's petition. 

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