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New Plants to Power Up Sleepless Jakarta

In an effort to cater to Greater Jakarta’s rapid development, state electricity firm PLN plans to build a number of new power plants and transmission networks worth billions of dollars in the country’s economic nexus.

Electricity demand in the area, which has seen a significant increase in the number of office buildings and residential complexes over recent years, currently stands at 10,000 megawatt (MW) per day and will increase by up to 8.5 percent every year. In particular, electricity demand for peak hours, between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., will increase by around 400 MW each year, meaning the area needs an additional 1,600 MW by 2019, according to PLN data.

To manage this, the firm will build a number of power plants with a combined output of 3,500 MW of electricity, 500 MW in the form of a gas-based facility and coal-based power plants (PLTGU) in Muara Karang, 800 MW PLTGU in Tanjung Priok, 600 MW PLTGU in Muara Tawar, all in Jakarta and 2×800 MW PLTGU Java-1 in an undecided location, all of which are scheduled for completion in 2019.

PLN regional business director for western Java area Murtaqi Syamsuddin said the power plant in Tanjung Priok would be funded by loans from a bank syndication led by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). He, however, did not reveal the amount of the loan commitment.

“We’ll let you know later in the loan signing on Oct. 20,” he said during the groundbreaking ceremony of a 2×500 mega-volt ampere (MVA) main station in Lengkong, Banten, on Friday.

PLN has just appointed state oil and gas operator Pertamina recently to lead the mega project PLTGU Java-1 worth Rp 26 trillion (US$2 billion). Pertamina will partner with Japanese Marubeni Corporation and Sojitz Corporation.

All the power plants are part of the government’s ambition to install additional 35,000 MW of electricity supply to the current system by 2019.

The additional power will be transmitted through transmission networks known as “Jakarta Loop”, comprising main stations and transformers looping the capital city with six main powerhouses in Tambun and Cawang in Jakarta, Gandul in West Java, Lengkong in Banten, Kembangan and Duri Kosambi in Jakarta.

“There will be less black outs with a looping system because it works better in supplying electricity,” said Murtaqi.

The frequency of black outs in Greater Jakarta area is reportedly not as common these days. However, the area is still vulnerable to power outages during heavy rain.

All of the six powerhouses have capacity of 6,000 MVA and 500 kilovolts in total. To date, only Gandul and Kembangan have been fully developed.

PLN will add another 500 MVA transformer in Cawang and build the first powerhouses in Tambun and Lengkong and dozens of smaller transmitters, all worth Rp 3.3 trillion and will be funded by PLN money. The project is scheduled to be completed by 2018.