From Government of Indonesia

More Geothermal Plants Planned

To help ease the threats of power shortages in remote areas, state electricity firm PT PLN plans to build 30 power plants which will be powered by coal or geothermal. The plants are planned for outside Java with an estimated total capacity to reach 1,852 MW by 2010.

PLN power generation director Ali Herman Ibrahim told The Jakarta Post Monday (28/5/07) that the geothermal power plants would be built at Ulubelu in Lampung, Ulumbu in Flores, East Nusa Tenggara, Lumutbalai in South Sumatra and Lahendong in North Sulawesi.

State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has set aside a budget of $24 million to develop geothermal plants in Lahendong, Ulubelu and Lumutbalai and PT Medco Energi Internasional recently announced a plan to build a geothermal plant in North Sumatra.

Herman said the capacity of each plant would range between 20 MW to 110 MW, with an estimated total capacity of around 1,000 MW.

Indonesia is believed to have nearly one-third of the world's geothermal resources so the government is stepping up efforts to develop its estimated 27,000 MW of potential geothermal power capacity. These efforts are expected to help reduce the country's dependence on oil and gas.

Investors however are hard to come by -- and their issues with the projects include a lack of necessary regulations or incentives. Pertamina and Chevron both have geothermal operations in Indonesia.

The archipelago has a total installed capacity of 807 MW of geothermal-created energy, which is around 3% of its potential. The government expects to complete a new regulation on tender procedures and licenses to explore and develop geothermal plants by the end of this year, said Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro,

Herman said PLN also plans to build coal-fired plants outside Java and Bali.

These projects are not part of the 10,000 MW program initiated by the government to deliver an additional power supply of 10,000 MW by 2009.
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