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Indonesia govt maintains target to develop 35,000 MW of power plants

JAKARTA ( – The Joko Widodo government will continue to move ahead with the plan to develop 35,000 megawatts (MW) of power plants over the next five years although there are doubts that the program could be too ambitious.

The target means that the government need to develop 7,000 MW of power plant per annum in the five year period.

Newly appointed Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli made noise a day after his inauguration that he would evaluate the program as the program, according to him, is unrealistic.

Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Sudirman Said assured on Sunday during a dialogue in Jakarta that the government has no plan yet to review the plan.

“The President has said that the target will not be revised down. It is the task of the ministers to find solutions to achieve the target,” said Minister Sudirman.

On May 4 in Bantul, Yogyakarta, President Joko Widodo launched his government’s ambitious program to develop power plants with combined capacity of 35,000 MW in 240 places across the nation.

“The program is part of efforts to not depend on fossil fuel,” Jokowi said in his keynote address at Goa Beach, Cemara, Gadingsari, Sanden, Bantul, Yogyakarta.

Jokowi acknowledged that many had criticized the 35,000 MW power capacity program as being too lofty because Indonesia had only managed to build plants that produce 50,000 MW of power in the past 70 years.

In addition, many power plant programs, such as the 10,000 MW of power capacity under the previous government has not been fully realized and therefore carried forward to the current Joko Widodo administration.

The energy minister said a number of power plant projects have been started. Some projects under the fast track program are expected to also completed this year, therefore, he expects power plants with combined capacity of 10,000 will be completed this year, out of total 35,000 MW target.

In addition, new power plant projects with combined capacity of 10,000 MW will be awarded this year. Minister Sudirman is yet to see major obstacles that could hamper the realization of the program, including their financing.

In a move to send clear message that his government is not just talking, President Joko Widodo last week marked the development of coal-fired power plant PLTU Batang in Central Java with capacity of 2×1000 MW (or 2000 MW), which is considered as the largest coal-fired power plant in ASEAN.

A number of existing power plant projects are also planning to expand including Tanjung Jati in East Java and Cilacap power plant.

In addition, President Joko Widodo is scheduled to inaugurate the construction of a number of power plants in the next few months including a power plant in Cirebon with capacity of 1,000 MW and in South Sumatra (Sumsel) with capacity of 1300 MW (2×650 MW).

The massive power plant development program is expected to meet growing demand of electricity in particular from industries as well as to address power shortages that are being experienced industrial sector over the past years. (*)

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