The government is to soon offer 15 geothermal fields up for power development tenders expected to generate a total of about 1,500 MW (megawatts) of electricity requiring a total investment of US$ 4.5 billion.
Bambang Setiawan, the Director General of Mineral, Coal and Geothermal at the ministry of energy and mineral resources, said Monday the tenders would be organized by regional governments where the projects are located.
The 15 fields are Seulawah Agam in Aceh Besar regency, Telaga ngebel in Ponorogo (East Java), Gunung Ungaran in Central Java, Jaboi in Sabang (Aceh), Gunung Talang in Solok (West Sumatra), Blawan Ijen in East Java, Hu'u Daha in Nusa Tenggara Barat, Sipoholon Ria-ria in North Sumatra, Bukit Kili in West Sumatra, Sorik Marapi-Roburan-Sampuraga in North Sumatra, Marana in Central Sulawesi, Songa Wayaua in South Halmahera, Atadei in Nusa Tenggara Timur, Suwawa in Gorontalo province, and Kaldera Danau Banten.
The 15 fields are among the 20 fields scheduled to be offered for tenders this year.
The other five fields, namely Jailolo field in West Halmahera (Maluku) with a potential capacity of 75 MW, Gunung Tampomas field in Sumedang and Subang (West Java) with 50 MW, Cisolok Cisukarame in Sukabumi (West Java) with 45 MW, Gunung Tangkuban Perahu in Subang, Bandung and Purwakarta (West Java) with 100 MW, and Sokoria in Ende with 30 MW, have been recently auctioned to investors.
But Yunus Saefulhak, the head of the sub-directorate of geothermal services and groundwater management at the ministry, said the government could not yet name the companies as they had yet to mobilize the funds to do these projects, as required by existing regulations.
Asked about the total investment needed for the development of these geothermal fields, he noted the production of one megawatt would require an average investment of between $2.5 million to $3 million.
In addition to the 20 fields, the government has awarded an initial survey order for six geothermal fields to three foreign companies.
After completing the surveys, the government will decide whether to give them a working area permit (WKP) status, regarded as leading potentially to exploration, before being offered the chance to bid.