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Jakarta Post

Ongoing 35,000 MW project needs rethinking: Jokowi

  • Fedina S. Sundaryani

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, January 6, 2017   /  06:59 am
Ongoing 35,000 MW project needs rethinking: Jokowi President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (left) talks to Vice President Jusuf Kalla during a plenary Cabinet meeting to discuss government programs in 2017 at Bogor Palace in West Java on Jan. 4. (Antara/Yudhi Mahatma)

President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has said it is high time to recalculate the electrification procurement target in the 35,000 megawatt (MW) program, which initially aims to exponentially increase the nation’s electricity capacity by 2019.

The President acknowledges that procuring an additional 35,000 MW by 2019 may not be the best option as the country's economy has been laggard with lower growth than that initially predicted.

"We must acknowledge that our initial calculations compared to what is really happening in the field, specifically our economic growth plans, are different," he said during the opening of the fourth National Energy Board (DEN) hearing on Thursday.

Jokowi emphasized that Indonesia's electricity consumption was currently still much lower than its peers in the region. As of the end of 2015, the country's consumption reached 918.6 kilowatt-hours (kWh), while Vietnam has reached 1,795 kWh and Singapore 9,146 kWh.

The 35,000 MW project is basically a continuation of the 10,000 MW policy launched by then president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his first presidential term in 2005, to keep reserve margins—the difference between capacity and peak demand—within the International Energy Agency's recommended level of 20 to 35 percent.

"I feel that we must recalculate, because even though large-scale procurement is not a problem, too much of it can be one, as it may cause [state-owned electricity company] PLN to overspend since [electricity] needs to be paid off no matter what," Jokowi said. (ags)

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