The West Lampung administration plans to auction the management of the Suoh-Sekincau geothermal power plant next month to help solve energy shortages in the province, says an official.
Regent Mukhlis Basrim said that the power plant was ready for auction following the decision from the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry allowing it to be mined.
â€śWith the additional energy supply expected to be generated from the site, hopefully Lampungâ€™s
energy crisis will come to an end,â€ť Mukhlis said.
Covering an area of 33,333 hectares, the geothermal site comprises of two blocks - Suoh and Sekincau. It is estimated the blocs have the potential to generate 430 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
â€śThat is just from one geothermal site. We have several others in West Lampung that can be exploited to help fulfill the local demand for electricity and speed up development in the region,â€ť Mukhlis said.
Data from the Lampung Energy and Mining Agency shows there are 13 geothermal sites in Lampung, with a combined potential of 2,945 MW of electricity.
Lampung has the countryâ€™s third-largest geothermal potential.
Of the combined potential, more than 800 MW are ready to be developed.
They include Ranau Lake in West Lampung (183 MW), Mt. Sekincau (West Lampung, 100 MW), Suoh Antata (West Lampung, 163 MW), Ulu Belu (Tanggamus regency, 156 MW), and Way Ratai and Kalianda (South Lampung, 194 MW and 40 MW respectively).
He said his administration had signed a memorandum of understanding with the management of the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (TNBBS) following the central governmentâ€™s decision to allow the Suoh-Sekincau blocks to be mined.
Lampung Governor Sjachroedin Z.P., said that his administration would keep pushing the regencies to develop geothermal energy.
The move, he said, aimed to ensure that all subdistricts in the province would have electricity in the next three years.
Currently, out of 2,331 subdistricts in Lampung, only 1,533 have electricity networks.
In an effort to reach the target sooner, Sjachroedin said his administration had also been developing micro-hydro power plants in a number of areas across the province, including the Mt. Betung micro-hydro plant.
Electricity shortages have increased in Lampung for the last three years.
With an average demand of 442 MW, it can only produce 325. The remainder is supplemented by the Sumatra interconnection.
The PLTA Batutegi hydroelectric power plant in Tanggamus (90 MW) and the PLTA Way Besai plant (45 MW) in West Lampung, are designated as the main suppliers of electricity for state electricity company PLN, but the plants have been unable to produce enough electricity due to water shortages.
To deal with the problem, PLN is currently developing a number of power plants, including steam-powered electric generators in South Lampung.