PLN to receive 200 bbtud of gas in March 2012
Gas-fired power plants in Muara Karang and Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, are likely to see an end to gas shortage problems starting from March with the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal being built in Jakarta Bay at a cost of US$250 million.
The additional supply may reach 200 billion British thermal units (bbtud) which will be delivered from the Bontang LNG plant in East Kalimantan, state electricity firm PT PLN primary energy director Nur Pamudji told reporters on Friday.
“In February, the floating storage and re-gasification terminal [FSRT] will be tested so that in March it can begin commercial operations,” he said on the sidelines of the 2011 Knowledge, Norm Discussion Forum, Innovation Contest, Festival and Exhibition being held at PLN headquarters in Jakarta.
The two power plants have a total capacity of 320 bbtud. Currently, due to gas shortage problems, the Tanjung Priok power plant has to use oil-based fuels for generating electricity, while the Muara Karang plant only receives 120 bbtud from Pertamina Hulu Energi Offshore Northwest Java.
Muara Karang has a total power generation capacity of 1,240 megawatts (MW), while Tanjung Priok’s capacity is 1,740 MW. The two power plants operate 17 gas turbines and 5 steam turbines to produce power.
“With supply from the new FSRT, all gas needs for the two power plants can be fulfilled,” Nur said.
The FSRT is constructed and operated by PT Nusantara Regas, jointly owned by state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina, with 60 percent, and state gas distributor PT PGN owning the remaining 40 percent.
The terminal is projected to have a storage capacity of 3 million tons of LNG per year, equal to 400 bbtud.
A 24-inch-diameter, 15-kilometer-long undersea pipeline will be installed to channel gas from the terminal to the Muara Karang plant.
With that supply, Nur claimed PLN could save $1.09 billion per year from reduced oil-based fuel consumption.
PLN currently operates 5,233 power plants across the country with a total capacity of 24,960 MW, of which 22 percent, or 1,151 plants, is fueled by natural gas.
According to the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK), due to many gas-fired power plants still using oil-based fuels, the country lost Rp 19.6 trillion in 2010 and Rp 17.9 trillion in 2009.
As reported previously, frustrated with the difficulty in getting additional gas supply from domestic producers, PLN had studied the possibility of importing LNG from Iran, Australia and Papua New Guinea.
On such plans to import gas, Pamudji said that the option would remain but he reaffirmed the company’s commitment to optimize domestic gas to fulfill its power plants’ demands.
“There’s no prohibition on PLN importing gas, so the possibility will remain open. But before we would do that, we would monitor the growth in our gas consumption. As long as we can get gas in the country, we won’t import,” he stated.
PLN was also scheduled to receive 40 bbtud of gas from the Grisik field in South Sumatra, operated by US-based ConocoPhillips, on Oct. 20 through a swap mechanism with its gas allocation from the Jambi Merang field in Jambi, which is operated by the Joint Operation Body (JOB) Pertamina and Canada-based Talisman.
However, due to several unsolved issues in the finalization of the swap documents, the delivery of gas has been delayed indefinitely. The gas was intended for the Muara Tawar power plant in West Java.
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