Thursday, 27th April 2017

Government pushes on its electricification program

20th March 2017 | 1.978 Views
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government continues to accelerate the development of its power plants as part of its efforts to increase the countrys electrification ratio of about 99 percent by 2019.

President Joko Widodo on Saturday inaugurated eight mobile power plants (MPP) with a combined capacity of 500 megawatts (MW). The eight MPPs are located in six provinces of West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Bangka Belitung, Lampung, Riau, North Sumatra and West Kalimantan.

However, the operations of the eight MPPs were inaugurated by the President through a video conference centered in Mempawah District, Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

The 500-MW MPPs are part of the governments efforts to achieve its 35 thousand MW electricity development program that would increase the country s current electricity generation capacity from some 50 thousand MW to 85 thousand MW by the end of 2019.

State-owned electricity company PLN President Director Sofyan Basir, in a written statement said on Saturday that the eight MPPs officiated by President Jokowi were 2x25-MW MPP in Jeranjang, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara); 2x25 MW MPP in Air Anyir, Bangka (Banka Belitung or Babel province); the 4x25 MW MPP in Tarahan, Lampung; and the 1x25 MW in Nias, North Sumatra.

Others included the 3x25 MW MPP in Balai Pungut, Riau province; the 1x25 MW MPP in Suge Belitung (Babel province); the 3x25 MW MPP in Paya Pasir, Medan North Sumatra; and the 4x25 MW MPP in Pontianak, West Kalimantan.

Basir noted that PLN was able to finish all of the power plant projects through its subsidiary Bright Batam in six months after the president inaugurated their groundbreaking in the first semester of 2016.

The cost of the entire projects was recorded at Rp8 trillion. The eight MPPs are part of the governments 35 thousand MW power plant development program.

Basir remarked that the inauguration of the eight power plants is proof of the commitment of PLN to accelerate the 35 thousand MW power plant development program in increasing the countrys electricity ratio of 99.7 percent by 2019.

That is the reason why the government pushes on the acceleration of its electricity development program. President Jokowi himself when inaugurating the groundbreaking of the MPP projects six months earlier asked the commitment of PLN to finish it soon.

"When I came here during the groundbreaking, I inquired from the state-owned electricity company PLNs director when this project will be completed. I was told that it could be completed in six months, and now, it has been completed. Moreover, the projects at that time comprised eight power plants and not only the one in Mempawah, West Kalimantan," President Jokowi stated in Mempawah District, West Kalimantan, while inaugurating the eight MPPs.

Jokowi therefore expressed gratitude for the completion of the projects as the PLN was able to do its jobs based on the targeted deadline.

"Thank God, all the eight MPPs have been built, with a combined capacity of 500 MW. The people in all cities, provinces, and districts have the same complaints: shortage of power supplies and frequent power cuts. Hence, we opted to build MPPs, as their construction is relatively faster. If we use coal, it would take about 4.5 to five years, but these can be completed soon," Jokowi noted.

The president remarked that with the availability of electricity, the economic growth in the region could be boosted, as investors are keen to invest in the concerned provinces.

"If the electricity is not made available, how could investors develop hotels and industries? No one wants to invest if there is no electricity, when in fact, investment can provide job opportunities to the local people in the concerned regions," the president pointed out.

PLN president director Basir also expressed the same hope.

"We hope that the eight MPPs, in various regions with a total capacity of 500 MW, will increase the countrys electricity supplies, notably in West Nusa Tenggara, North Sumatra, Lampung, Bangka Belitung, Riau, and West Kalimantan. The availability of electricity is very strategic, because it has a positive impact on regional investment and peoples economy," Basir reiterated.

The operation of the MPP will increase the number of PLN customers. For example, in Bangka Belitung province, which receives two MPPs, respectively one in Bangka and one in Belitung, PLN will increase its power supplies to customers.

General Manager of state-owned electricity company PLN for Bangka Belitung, Susiana Mutia, stated in Pangkalpinang the operations of the two MPPs will be able to provide electricity to 17 thousand households and customers of 60 large-scale industries in the region.

"We hope this condition would stimulate investors to build labor-intensive industries, so that workers would be absorbed well in Bangka and Belitung," she remarked.

Now, the capacity of electricity supplies in Bangka has increased from 135 MW (130 MW at the peak burden) to 185 MW. For the Belitung, the electricity capacity has also been raised from 40 MW to 65 MW with a 38 MW capacity during the peak burden.(*)