Fate of Jenjarom battery plant to be known by end of August

Selangor exco Hee Loy Sian (centre) paying a visit to the battery factory in Jenjarom on April 19.

PETALING JAYA: The state government says a decision on whether to maintain or relocate a lead-acid battery manufacturing plant in Jenjarom will be made by the end of this month.

Selangor Environment, Green Technology and Consumer Affairs Committee chairman Hee Loy Sian said the state will always prioritise the environment, adding that it won’t compromise with anyone who goes against the rules.

However, he said the state is obliged to also act fairly to all stakeholders, including investors, so long as they comply with all terms and conditions.

“In the case of battery manufacturer Leoch Accupower (M) Sdn Bhd, the state has conducted investigations and is still studying whether its activities have contributed to pollution of the water, air and soil,” he said in a statement.

Kampung Jenjarom folks had held a protest in front of the battery manufacturing factory in April, urging the state authorities to stop its operations and relocate it.

The villagers were not satisfied with the decision of the Kuala Langat District Council (MDKL) to give the factory a temporary licence after considering letters of support from several technical departments, including the Department of Environment (DoE).

Hee had said before that an in-depth investigation was needed to determine the level of the acid and lead pollution.

He stated that a fire at the factory in 2017, caused by a short circuit, had affected 80% of the factory’s facilities and 1,200 tonnes of materials were destroyed. This may have contributed to some pollution, he added.

Hee said the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH), DoE and the Selangor Health Department were involved in checking the status of the factory.

He said the district council had been instructed to coordinate and collect the results of all the studies from all the relevant agencies by mid-August to prepare a comprehensive report for the Selangor Economic Action Council (MTES) to make a decision.

He hoped the villagers staying near to the factory would be patient while waiting for a decision to be made by the state authorities.

“In the meantime, the district council and DoE will continue to monitor the factory’s activities closely.”