Fri, 22 Oct 2010

Jambi (ANTARA News) - To avoid being constrained by fuel scarcities or price hikes, industries in Jambi province should switch to alternative energy sources such as coal to run their factories, a local energy official said.

State oil palm plantation company PTPN VI had already begun replacing fuel oil with the waste from oil palm fruits to run its mills, and other companies should follow suit, Ermansyah Herman, head of Jambi`s energy and mineral resources office, said here Thursday.

"This oil palm plantation company has managed to replace fuel oil with waste from oil palm fruit bunches , and other industries can also use coal as their energy source," Herman said.

The frequent crude oil price hikes had encouraged the government and business world to seek alternative energy sources, and coal was considered as the cheapest of alternative energy sources, he said.

Coal mines in Jambi were considered to have a huge potential, and the provincial administration was therefore inviting investors to build a coal-fired power plant and produce other alternative energy sources for household use.

Jambi`s coal potentials were spread in seven districts, namely Bungo, Tebio Tanjung Jabung Barat, Muarojambi, Batanghari, Sarolangun and Merangin districts.

Switching to coal would also cut production cost as coal was cheaper than diesel oil for industry which so far had to pay Rp10,000 per liter of fuel oil.

The increased price of fuel oil , diesel oil in particular, was affecting the business world therefore the government was encouraging industries to use chaper alternative energy sources, including coal, he said.

"Many efforts are being made to replace fuel oil with various alternative eneregy sources such as, biodiesel, steam, water, geothermal and coal," he said. (*)