Fri, 30 Sep 2011

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Several Norwegian investors are interested in investing in hydropower in Makassar, South Sulawesi. “I welcome this intention not only from Norway, but other investors,” said Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan yesterday.

Zulkifli said the investment would be a medium-scale and long-term project.

A lecturer from the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Surna Tjahja Djajadiningrat, said the water potential in Indonesia totaled 75,000 MW, theoretically spread across 1,315 locations.

Until 2000, large-scale water utilization for power plants in the country has only reached 4,208 MW or 5.6 percent of the existing potential. In Java alone, the utilization only reached 53 percent or 2,389 MW.

Hydropower potential is not available in Makassar only. Early this year, the CEO of state-run electricity company PT PLN, Dahlan Iskan, collaborated with the president of China Huadian Engineering Co Ltd International Company, Li Lin Wei, to study hydropower development in Yawei River, Papua.

The site will become the largest water-generated power plant in the country. PLN plans to develop Yawei River which is located about 70 km west of Timika.

Zulkifli said that other than water energy, Indonesia has significant geothermal power potential. At least 15 companies are planing to invest in this sector.

As such, the government has issued a new Forestry Minister Regulation to legalize geothermal power utilization in forest conservation area.

Geothermal sources are found in at least 70 provinces with potentials reaching 19,658 MW. However, only four percent or 802 MW has been used. Geothermal power sources are located in volcanic routes along Sumatra, Java, Bali, Nusa Tenggara, the islands in Banda Sea, Halmahera and Sulawesi.