PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has set aside Rp865 billion (US$60.48 million) for compensation for major blackout in West Java, Banten, Jakarta, and Central Java - Photo: Privacy.

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The state electricity company, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has set aside Rp865 billion (US$60.48 million) for compensation on major blackout in West Java, Banten, Jakarta, and Central Java on Sunday noon and take hours for power to be restored.

“Later we will give compensation to the August consumer bills paid in September,” PLN West Java regional director WS Aryanto told media in Jakarta, Tuesday (08/6).

Aryanto said the amount of compensation was calculated based on the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation No27/2017 concerning Service Quality Levels and Costs Related to Electric Power Distribution by PLN.

The compensation fee will be given to around 20 million affected customers. He continued, compensation will be given as much as 35 percent of the cost of the burden or the minimum account for consumers in the group subject to tariff adjustments.

Meanwhile, consumers with tariff groups that are not subject to tariff adjustments will be compensated 20 percent of the cost of the burden or minimum account. He said the compensation costs would come from the company’s cash.

Meanwhile, Director General of Consumer Protection and Orderly Commerce Veri Anggrijono said, the amount of compensation for consumer losses due to power outages in PLN was in accordance with applicable government regulations.

He will continue to open service reports and consumer complaints about the power outages compensation process. He noted, in accordance with Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Regulation, PLN is required to report to the government on the consumer compensation process a maximum of 3 months. We will oversee the process and will make a reprimand to PLN if the provisions are not enforced, he adds.

Followed the blackout, Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association has urged PLN’ two ministers and chief executive to resign. While President Joko Widodo reprimanded that the company failed to anticipate the problem. The president opined the management did not have a good skill to calculate and estimate the incident. It showed how the company needs hours to handle the issues.

“We admit we’re doing this little by little. I’m sorry, Mr. President, the process is slow, we admit it,” PLN acting president director Sripeni Inten Cahyani told President Joko Widodo during his visit to PLN’s office on Monday, witnessed by journalists.

“If the frequency drops, there are concerns that power plants that have been back operating as normal can lose control. So we need to be extra careful at times of emergency. Everything is down, so we need to turn it back on one by one carefully and with caution,” she explained. “We admit that in the process there are some actionable items that could have been done quicker to bring power back to normal.”

Cahyani told Jokowi, who demanded PLN to convey what went wrong in layman terms, that there were “disruptions” in the backbone electricity system that supports power for Java and Bali.

The two systems, North and South, each have two circuits that provide the backbone for the 500 kilovolts that support Java and Bali, she explained. One of the north circuit points, Ungaran-Pemalang, Central Java, faced disruption followed by the second circuit, creating unstable voltage and frequency in a transmission that then led to the major blackout in Greater Jakarta and several cities in Java.

At times of emergency, there needs to be a special and cautious effort in balancing out the system in terms of voltage and frequency for the power generators to not cause further problems, hence making it difficult to stabilize the power quickly, said Cahyani.

“In big companies such as PLN, I think, there should be risk management – a contingency plan, or a backup plan. My question is, why is it not working quickly and properly?” the President said. “This does not only hurt PLN’s reputation but especially consumers.”

Widodo ended his visit to PLN by urging the firm to work fast and to light up the remaining areas that were still blacked out. He urges PLN to handle the incident thoroughly and saying: “Just don’t let it happen again. That’s my only demand.”

US$1=Rp14.300

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