JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories)–Indonesian President Joko Widodo officially launched three wind power plant projects in Sidrap, South Sulawesi with a total capacity of 545 megawatt (MW) and a total investment of US$760 million. The power plant projects are part of the 35,000 MW electricity program.

These projects create employment opportunities for 2,690 people. The projects include Sidrap wind farm of 75 megawatt with investment of US$150 million.

The two other projects are coal fired power plant Punagaya with a total capacity of 2×100 megawatt and coal fired steam power plant Jeneponto with capacity of 2×135 megawatt. Both of the projects are located in the Jepeponto, South Sulawesi.

The President Director of PLN Sofyan Basir said the two coal fired power plants will increase  the capacity of South Sulawesi’s electrical system to 1,600 megawatt, while the peak load is 1,100 MW, Sofyan said.

Furthermore, Widodo also announced the groundbreaking phase of the three projects namely coal fired power plant of Sulsel Baru 2, gas engine power plant of Luwuk, and wind power plant in Yolo. Those projects have a total capacity of 757 megawatt and a total investment of US$1.168 billion. It opens employment for 4,480 people.

The Sidrap power plant is the first wind power plant in Indonesia that completed construction in March 2018. The project includes 30 wind turbin generators with a tower height 80 meters and a propeller length of 57 meters, of which each drive a 2.5 megawatt turbine. He claimed the domestic component level Sidrap power plant reaches 40%.

“The project can transmit electricity for more than 70,000 customers,” said Energy and Mineral Resources Minister (MEMR) Ignasius Jonan in a press release on Monday (02/06).

The Sidrap power plant launching will cath up the renewable energy mix target of 23 per cent by 2025. It plans to have 30,000 megawatts of power generated from geothermal, hydro, wave, and solar energy.

The country apparently will highly unlikely to achieve the goal since the energy mix currently only reached 11-12%. As of end 2016 only 8.8 GW has been tapped, mostly hydro-power plant and geothermal, equal to 7 per cent of the country’s energy mix. Last year, Indonesia only recorded Rp11.7 trillion ($850 million) investment in renewable energy sector, according to MEMR.

Furthermore, the boosting power plant projects is also part of the government effort to achieve the electrification ratio target to 99 percent by 2019. The national electrification ratio is currently around 96.6 percent, while electrification ratio in South Sulawesi Province has reached more than 99 percent.

To achieve this electrification ratio target, Indonesian government previously committed to maintain the current electricity tariff until 2019. The government targets electricity demand growth of 6.86 per cent with the economic growth assumption of 5.5 per cent in 2018.

Indonesian government continues to offer a major investment opportunity for domestic and global power companies and investors to achieve the electrification ratio. However this effort faced several obstacles.

One of them is the weak electricity demand that potentially disrupts investment in power sector. Indonesia’s sluggish economy in recent years leads to lower electricity consumption. Electricity demand growth only reached 3.57 per cent last year, less than half of the expected of 8.36 per cent.

Email: fauzulmuna@theinsiderstories.com