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Jakarta Post

PLN commits to build emergency power plant for Jakarta MRT after blackout paralyzes trains

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, September 11, 2019   /   11:03 am
PLN commits to build emergency power plant for Jakarta MRT after blackout paralyzes trains Jakarta's MRT train system experienced a 13 percent decline in passengers in August because of a six hour blackout that struck the capital earlier that month. (The Jakarta Post/Wienda Parwitasari)

State utility company PLN is committed to building a 101 megawatt (MW) diesel-fired power plant in Jakarta to provide emergency electricity for the city’s MRT train system.

The power plant, which is to be built in the Senayan neighborhood in Central Jakarta, is estimated to cost about Rp 1 trillion (US$71.19 million) and is slated to begin operations by October.

“This emergency power is, of course, solely for evacuating the MRT,” said PLN acting president director Sripeni Inten Cahyani at an open-door meeting with legislators in Jakarta on Tuesday.

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s director general for electricity, Rida Mulyana, added that PLN chose a diesel-fired power plant over a gas-fired one because diesel was safer for long-term storage, even though it took longer to fire up.

The PLN realized the new power plant was needed after technical problems with its transmission lines disrupted the electricity supply to Jakarta for more than six hours on Aug. 4. The unexpected blackout forced dozens of passengers to evacuate MRT trains halted in tunnels.

According to MRT president director Wiliam Sabandar, the blackout resulted in 13 percent fewer passengers in August compared to previous months.