PLN to install underwater cables to Nusa Lembongan
The state-owned electricity company, PLN, is planning to install underwater cables to Nusa Lembongan Island to distribute electricity from Bali to this small island and its surrounding areas.
Ida Bagus Gede Mardawa Padanggratha, general manager of PLN Bali distribution, told Bali Daily on Tuesday that electricity supplies to the island were still very limited.
“It is expected that the installation project will commence in December,” the general manager said.
Padanggratha explained that the Lembongan underwater cable installation would provide an additional 20 megawatts (MW) of electricity to the island, where demand is growing as it is an emerging tourist destination.
The new underwater cables are to be installed from Saba Beach in Gianyar to Lembongan Island and, probably, the nearby Nusa Penida Island.
The project, which will cost Rp 140 billion (US$14.84 million), is already in the contractual stage.
“The underwater cables are currently being made in China,” he said.
The general manager said that the Lembongan underwater cable project would be part of the company’s grand program to increase electricity supplies in Bali, where supply is currently vulnerable as demand and capacity are precariously balanced.
Previously, IGN Adnyana, PLN’s operations director for Java and Bali, had explained that the company was scheduled to install two new underwater cables to distribute 200 MW of electricity from Java to Bali.
The new cables were expected to come into operation in July, but this has been postponed until August. The cost is expected to be around Rp 450 billion ($49.95 million) and would bring the number of installed underwater power cables to four.
Adnyana said that the installation of the Java-Bali underwater cables, carried out by a Japanese company, would be challenging as the Bali Straits is renowned for its powerful undercurrents and the heavy ferry traffic crossing the strait.
The new Java-Bali cables would be able to deliver up to 210 MW a day, which is higher than the 185 MW delivered by PLN’s existing cables, Mardawa added.
Electricity from the cables would be channeled to the island’s strategic regions, including Nusa Dua,
Sanur and Ngurah Rai International Airport.
“When completed, Bali will no longer have to be worried about frequent blackouts,” Adnyana said.
The current electricity supply to Bali reached around 696 MW produced by power plants in Pesanggaran in Sanur 230 MW, Gilimanuk 130 MW, Pemaron 136 MW and underwater transmission from Java 200 MW.
“Electricity demands in Bali increase by 10 percent every year,” stated Padangratha. Around 55 percent of total electricity supplies are used by hotels and the hospitality industry.
In addition to installing underwater cables from Java to Bali, PLN will also start the Bali Crossing project, installing two cables from Ketapang in East Java to Gilimanuk in Jembrana, Bali.
The Bali Crossing transmission cables will bring a further 2 x 1,600 MW of power to Bali. A new power plant is also being constructed in Celukan Bawang in Buleleng regency, which will produce at least 380 MW.