Indonesia will build a 5,000-megawatt power plant in Cilacap, Central Java, as part of the new government's ambitious programme to have at least an additional 35,000 MW of power within five years.
Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo said Thursday that development of the first stage of the huge power plant complex, which would be among the largest in the world, was expected to begin next year so that it could begin commercial operation by 2018.
"In the first stage, the power generation capacity will reach 2,000 MW," he said after a coordinating meeting with relevant institutions at the office of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. Indroyono said the entire power plant project, which will have five generation units each with 1,000-MW capacity, was expected to be completed within seven years.
The minister said the power plant complex would be built by PT Jawa Energy and backed by Chinese investors.
If it is realised, the new power plant will be the largest in Indonesia. The coal-fired Paiton power plant in Probolinggo, East Java, which at present produces about 2,000 MW of electricity, is the country's largest. The Paiton power plant was initially designed to have a total capacity of more than 4,000 MW.
Taiwan's Taichung is the largest coal-fired power plant in the world, with a capacity of 5,500 MW.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said explained that the 5,000-MW power plant would use an ultra-super critical boiler technology that would be able to reduce the harmful emissions resulting from coal usage.
"The power produced will first be directed to an industrial zone in the area and the remainder will be bought by PLN," Sudirman said.
The power plant plan was made several years ago but it could not be realised due to licensing and land-acquisition problems.
New power plant complex will be built in two stages First stage of development will begin next year Commercial production is expected to begin by 2018
The complex will need a plot of about 120 hectares in Cilacap. Around 70 hectares would be obtained from the Army's properties, said Cilacap regent Tatto Suwarto Pamuji. Meanwhile, another 20 hectares was owned by the local administration and the remainder belonged to local citizens in one village.
"Everything is ready. We only lack the location license. However, the coordinating minister said during this morning's meeting that the license would be followed up," Tatto said.
With the government's support, construction of the coal-fired power plant was expected to kick off next year, according to Tatto.
The government had also settled the mechanism to use the Army's land for the power plant complex, Indroyono said.
"As the land belongs to the Army, it means it also belongs to the state. Therefore, the state will pass the title to PLN [the state electricity company]. PLN will then rent the land to the power plant investors.
In a short time, we will discuss the matter with the Finance Ministry," Indroyono said, adding that the Army chief of staff was also present at the meeting and had agreed to the plan.
Land acquisition has long been a problem for many planned power plant projects in Indonesia. The significant 2,000-MW Japan-sponsored Batang power plant, also in Central Java, has been delayed for years because of a lack of land as local residents have opposed the project.
As of the end of July, the country had 51,980 MW total installed capacity. Given demand growth of about 7 per cent per year, the country needs to add 5,700 MW new capacity a year or face a power crisis.
As a number of power plant projects have been delayed, mostly because of land-acquisition problems, Java and Bali are expected to face a power crisis as early as 2016.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said earlier that the current government expected to add 35,000 MW capacity within its five years in office.
PLN president director Nur Pamudji said earlier that the 35,000-MW power plants would come from ongoing and new projects. He said about 15,000 MW would be supplied by PLN's power plants and the other 20,000 MW by independent power producers (IPPs).