Thu, 25 Aug 1994

BOO concept behind RI power plant projects

GARUT, West Java (JP): The government is offering contracts for the construction of geothermal power plants with a combined capacity of 275 megawatts (MW) in West Java to private firms under a regulation allowing contractors to build, operate and own (BOO) the plants.

The new scheme was actually introduced three years ago but is just now being put into practice.

The BOO concept differs from the old regulations, under which private companies were only allowed to explore for geothermal steam and supply it to PLN, the state electricity company. They, in turn, had the sole right to exploit the steam to produce electricity.

However, "with the new BOO scheme, popularly known as 'total project offering', PLN will act as the single buyer of the electricity produced by its contractors, leaving the companies to produce the power themselves," PLN president Zuhal announced yesterday.

"At least two private companies have proposed to PLN for adopting the BOO scheme," he said.

"Of the geothermal plants offered under the BOO scheme, Unocal of the United States has agreed to construct two new plants at Gunung Salak with a combined capacity of 110 MW. Amoseas Indonesia has agreed to construct another plant with a capacity of 55 MW at the Darajat site in Garut, all near Kamojang," Zuhal said.

"The other plants with a combined capacity of 110 MW, which will probably be established in Kamojang, will likely be built under a planned joint venture of PLN and the state oil company Pertamina," he said. He added that the venture was specifically designed to develop of geothermal plants in the country.

"Of course, the planned 110-MW station in Kamojang will be open for bids by private companies," he added.

Responding to reporters' questions on investments, Zuhal said that Unocal will invest US$200 million to construct the planned Gunung Salak plant and Amoseas and $70 million to establish the Darajat plant.

"The construction of the planned station in Kamojang is expected to cost $120 million," he added.

Zuhal was here to accompany Minister of Mines and Energy I.B. Sudjana, who made a spot-check of the Darajat plant, scheduled to be inaugurated by President Soeharto by the end of this year.


The President is also scheduled to simultaneously inaugurate both the Darajat and Gunung Salak plants as well as the first export-oriented oil refinery (Exor I) of Balongan in Indramayu, West Java.

Zuhal pointed out that the Darajat plant, which was supervised by Sudjana yesterday in preparation for its inauguration, has been constructed by PLN with a total investment of $73.09 million.

"Some $50 million of the investment has been financed with a soft loan from the Asian Development Bank and the remaining $23.09 million by the Indonesian government and PLN," he said.

The Darajat project will buy steam from Amoseas and Pertamina, which have jointly explored for steam, he added.

"PLN will buy the steam for 4.6 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour (KWh) for the Darajat plant, compared to 4.7 U.S. cents per KWh which PLN will buy from Unocal for the Gunung Salak plant," he said.

"With the new power plants, Indonesia will have a total capacity of 309.75 MW throughout the country by the end of this year," he said.

Indonesia thus far operates five geothermal plants with a combined capacity of 144.75 megawatts. The biggest units are located in Kamojang with a combined capacity of 140.25 MW.

Zuhal added that Indonesia plans to have geothermal plants with a combined capacity of 1,000 MW by the end of the sixth five-year development plan (Repelita VI) period.

Vincent T. Raja, PLN's geothermal expert, told The Jakarta Post that PLN even plans to offer new geothermal power plants in Wayang Windu (with a capacity of 40 MW), Patuha (40 MW), both in West Java, Dieng (55 MW) in Central Java, Surulla in North Sumatra (110 MW) and Lampung (110 MW) starting this year.

"If we can have geothermal power plants of 1,000 MW by the end of 2000, Indonesia will become the second largest producer of geothermal energy in the world, after the U.S. with its present installed capacity of 2,000 MW," Vincent said. (fhp)