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Jakarta Post

Giant smack of jellyfish occupies waters off Paiton power plant in East Java

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Wed, April 29, 2020   /   05:22 pm
Giant smack of jellyfish occupies waters off Paiton power plant in East Java Nets are installed in waters next to the Paiton coal-fired power plant in East Java to prevent swarms of jellyfish from entering the facility's water intake canal and water pumps (left). Thousands of jellyfish swim in waters near the Paiton coal-fired power plant on Saturday. The plant's operator, PLN, said on Wednesday that the jellyfish likely migrated from colder waters near Australia (right). (PLN/PLN)

Thousands of jellyfish have swarmed to the shores next to the giant seaside Paiton coal-fired power plant in Probolinggo regency, East Java, for the second time in half a decade, reportedly because of cooling waters near Australia.

The plant’s operator, state-owned electricity company PLN, said on Wednesday that the jellyfish were spotted near the plant’s 4 by 400 megawatt (MW) Units 1 and 2 on Saturday. PLN said the invertebrates remained in the area until Tuesday morning.

“This is normally due to weather changes. Looking back at 2016, when cold weather blanketed Australian waters, these sea creatures migrated toward the Java Sea and Madura Strait,” PLN corporate communications head I Made Suprateka said in a statement.

The Paiton plant, which has a total installed capacity of 4,700 MW from nine units, is one the largest coal plants in Southeast Asia. The facility is operated by PLN’s power generation subsidiary, PT Pembangkitan Jawa Bali (PJB).

Thousands of jellyfish swim in waters near the Paiton coal-fired power plant on Saturday. The plant's operator, PLN, said on Wednesday that the jellyfish likely migrated from colder waters near Australia. (PLN/PLN)Thousands of jellyfish swim in waters near the Paiton coal-fired power plant on Saturday. The plant's operator, PLN, said on Wednesday that the jellyfish likely migrated from colder waters near Australia. (PLN/PLN) (PLN/PLN)

PJB general manager for the two units, Mustofa Abdillah, added that employees had installed nets to prevent the jellyfish from entering Paiton’s water intake canal and water pumps. The installations are used to channel water inland to cool down the facility. 

He said the management had also borrowed seven local fishing ships to capture and release the jellyfish into open waters.

“Looking back at our experience in 2016, we were better prepared this time,” said Mustofa.

The company added that the Java-Bali electricity supply remained secure, as the island’s interconnected electric grid allowed other plants to replace the power supply should Paiton suspend operations.