Electricity Crisis Haunts Java, Bali

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  • TEMPO/Budi Purwanto

    TEMPO/Budi Purwanto

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - An electricity shortage continues to threaten the islands of Java and Bali, and periodic blackouts are expected to remain until 2016.

    According to Nasri Sebayang, the Director of Construction and Renewable Energy of the State Electricity Company (PLN), the crisis cannot be averted if bureaucratic delays continue to affect the construction of three PLN power plants, which is supposed to supply 6,000 megawatt (MW) of electricity to the Java-Bali grid. "We need to be extra careful with Java and Bali because there is a possibility of a serious electricity shortage in 2016," said Nasri at his office yesterday.

    The construction is supposed to have begun on six additional generators - two at Batang power plant, three at Sumbagsel, and another at Indramayu power plant - which at 1,000 MW each, generate a total of 6,000 MW to aid with increasing demand on the islands of Java and Bali. However, the construction at all three location has been halted over land acquisition issues, and funding concerns for the purchase of transmission cables.

    The Batang plant, for instance, continues to be dogged by delays as pricing disagreements put land acquisition talks in jeopardy - locking with it around 15 percent of the area needed to build the power plant. As a result, the construction has been stopped until further notice by the government.

    The Indramayu plant, which is a project under the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Scheme, has been similarly delayed because the appropriate licenses have not been issued by the regent.

    Last but not least, the Sumbagsel plant in South Sumatra. Despite its geographical location, the 3,000 MW generator will be connected with the Java-Bali grid through a series of underwater transmission cables - if an acceptable financing option can be agreed on by all parties. The Director General for Electricity Jarman, said the government had agreed on acquiring a loan for US$929 million to help finance the construction of the underwater transmission cables. PLN aims to begin construction in 2015, and entry into service is slated for 2018.