PT PJB Committed to Making Energy from Seaweed

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  • A farmer drying seaweed at Bantaeng, South Sulawesi (8/19). TEMPO/Iqbal Lubis

    A farmer drying seaweed at Bantaeng, South Sulawesi (8/19). TEMPO/Iqbal Lubis

    TEMPO.CO, Surabaya-PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali (Persero) has expressed its commitment to step up the use of new renewable energy, among others by using seaweed to produce energy.

    “We have successfully produced new renewable energy of 1,500 MW from a total of 7,039 MW of electricity production in eight locations,” said PT PJB president director Iwan Agung Firstantara in his office, Wednesday, August 10, 2016. The amount is equal to 21 percent of the company’s total electricity production.

    Iwan explained that PJB has been developing new renewable energy from various new energy sources, such as solar power, ocean current power which is integrated to bridge construction, and seaweed.

    The company aims to produce additional new energy in the next five years. “Currently, it has [reached] 1,500 MW already, in the next five years it could reach 2,500 MW or 25 percent of our total electricity production,” Iwan said.

    At present, PJB admitted it has been developing seaweed as a new energy source. Iwan said one of seaweed species has a very high methane concentration. “We work closely with a Dutch company and Diponegoro University. If succeeded, this will be an excellent potential to produce electricity,” he said.

    The new energy from seaweed is expected to produce 10 MW of electricity. The infrastructure will be built in Amurang, North Sulawesi, pending research results which would take eight months to complete. After the approval of the research, the project will complete in three year’s time. 

    Earlier, PJB had tried to develop energy from seaweed in Madura. However, it was deemed less satisfactory than that of North Sulawesi.

    “North Sulawesi has been chosen because it has a perfect depth. More so because, from the financial perspective, [to produce] energy from seaweed is less expensive compared to other renewable energy,” Iwan said.