PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara managed to raise funds of up to Rp5.71 trillion (US$402.11 million) that come from the issuance of Japanese and rupiah-denominated bonds - Photo by the Company

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – State-owned power producer, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) needs an investment around US$1 billion to complete eight geothermal projects during 2023 – 2024, said an official on Wednesday (08/14). Indonesian government noted the country needs around $15 billion funds to meet the geothermal targets until 2025.

PLN Gas & Geothermal Director Yudistian Yunis as reported by local media stated, the company currently has 11 geothermal working areas. Three blocks were developed by PLN, and eight others were worked with partners.

The eight blocks are Kepahiang in Bengkulu with a potential of up to 110 Megawatts (MW), Songa Wayaua in North Maluku (10 MW), Atadei in Nusa Tenggara Timur or NTT (5 MW), Sirung in NTT (5 MW), Tangkuban Parahu in West Java (60 MW) ), Oka Ile Ange on Flores Island, NTT (10 MW), Mount Ungaran in Central Java (55 MW), Lake Ranau in Lampung (20 MW).

To work on the eight blocks, the power producer has partnered with five companies. The five who have passed the pre-qualification are Indonesia-based oil and gas drilling contractor PT Apexindo Pratama Duta Tbk (IDX: APEX), Indonesian oil and gas producer, PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk (IDX: MEDC), Halliburton Indonesia, United States’ renewable energy company Ormat Technologies Inc., (NYSE: ORA), and Japan’ Itochu Corporation.

Yunis said, within the next three months, PLN will announce the distribution of blocks which will be worked on by the five partners. In this division, said Yunis, there are partners who will work on more than one block with PLN.

Meanwhile, PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), a unit of state energy company PT Pertamina targeting to installed geothermal power plants with total capacity 1,112 MW in 2026.

“Pertamina through PGE committed to develop geothermal energy in Indonesia to implement the government’ energy mix program in accordance with the National Energy Policy,” said PGE’ President Director Ali Mundakir.

Earlier this month, PGE conducted a first synchronize geothermal energy in South Sumatra with a capacity of 55 MW and is targeted to operate commercially by the end of August, he adds. At present, PGE already operates five geothermal areas with a total installed capacity of 617 MW, consisting of Kamojang 235 MW in West Java, Ulubelu 220 MW in Lampung, Lahendong 120 MW in North Sulawesi, Karaha 30 MW in West Java, and Sibayak 12 MW in North Sumatra.

PGE is also developing geothermal at the Hululais Project in Bengkulu; Sungai Penuh Project in Jambi; and geothermal energy unit 2 in South Sumatra, as well as three exploration initiatives in the Seulawah Project, Aceh; Gunung Lawu Project, Central Java; and the Bukit Daun Project, Bengkulu.

Mundakir estimates the 617 MW of geothermal energy will reduce emissions by 3.2 million tons of CO2 per year and save oil and gas reserves by 29 MBOEPD. He added that geothermal development is one of Pertamina’ aspirations in the framework of developing green energy.

At the same event, director general for renewable energy at the energy and mineral resources (EMR) ministry Sutijastoto revealed only 1,948.5 MW or 7.8 percent of the geothermal potential is utilized. To be able to boost 23 percent of renewable energy in 2025 geothermal is expected to be 7,200 MW.

“So an additional 5,000 MW is needed with funds of around $15 billion in the next 5 years,” he stated.

While, Vice President Jusuf Kalla criticized the slow progress of geothermal power plants in Indonesia. Though the second largest geothermal power user in the world has quite a long experience.

“Seven times making exhibitions, the results have only reached 2,000 MW,” slammed by Kalla.

Not only geothermal, but Kalla also assessed the development of other renewable energy is also slow. For decades the new 8,000 MW renewable energy included hydropower, including some of it, wind, but the biothermal power plant has been a long time.

Therefore, the Vice President urges the EMR ministry, PLN and other stakeholders together to solve the problem. Moreover, the government has targeted the use of new and renewable energy in the electricity sector to reach 23 percent by 2025.

And, of the total energy mix in the electricity sector, contributions from geothermal energy are expected to contribute up to 11 percent by 2025. Coal currently makes up around 60 percent of the country’s energy mix versus about 5 percent from geothermal power, according to data from PLN.

The EMR ministry is drafting up plans to accelerate ongoing projects to meet the target, Sutijastoto said, including reviewing the possibility of the government reimbursing some part of the development costs.

“We will see, things such as infrastructure, may be possible to be reimbursed by the government,” he said, referring to items such as roads or bridges built by the company to reach the geothermal power site.

Written by Lexy Nantu, Email: lexy@theinsiderstories.com