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Jakarta Post

PLN merges East, South Kalimantan grids

  • N.Adri

    The Jakarta Post

Balikpapan, East Kalimantan   /   Tue, June 5, 2018   /   09:52 am
PLN merges East, South Kalimantan grids In progress: Workers install new cables for a low-voltage network with a capacity of 380/220 volt for consumers in Jajag village, Banyuwangi, East Java, on May 18. (JP/Aman rochman)

State utility company PLN has merged electrical power networks in East Kalimantan and South Kalimantan into a single, united system to increase electricity supply capacity in the two areas.

The Mahakam and Barito grids are connected through PLN’s electrical relay station in Tanjung, South Kalimantan. The names of the grids were taken from the names of major rivers passing through the two provinces, namely the Mahakam River in East Kalimantan and Barito River in South Kalimantan.

“We successfully synchronized the two electricity systems at the Tanjung electrical relay station,” PLN East and North Kalimantan general manager Riza Novianto Gustam said on Monday.

By unifying the systems, PLN now has a utility capacity of up to 2,000 Megawatts (MW) in the two provinces, which is more than enough to supply electricity to 2 million users.

Gustam said connecting the grids would increase efficiency and reduce costs as PLN could now fully rely on its coal-powered steam power plants (PLTU) instead of diesel-powered plants (PLTDs).

“We will keep PLTDs on standby in East Kalimantan and as a replacement, we will get  30-MW electricity supply from the Barito system [in South Kalimantan],” said Gustam.

Electricity generated by a PLTD can cost Rp 3,000 (22 US cents) per kilowatt hour (kWH) while that produced by a PLTU costs only Rp 300 kWH.  

Riza said the Kalimantan system helped provided lower-priced electricity for East Kalimantan areas located between the working areas of the Mahakam and Barito systems. They include Paser and North Penajam Paser regencies. (nor/ebf)