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Jakarta Post

Indonesian coal trader partners with Chinese firms to develop solar farms, electric cars

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, August 13, 2020   /   05:15 pm
Indonesian coal trader partners with Chinese firms to develop solar farms, electric cars A visitor talks to a saleswoman about a E100 small electric car made by Wuling at GIIAS 2018 in Tangerang, Banten. (JP/Riza Roidila Mufti )

Energy company PT Sumber Energi Sukses Makmur (SESM) has signed deals with two Chinese companies to develop a mid-sized solar power plant and an electric car factory in Indonesia.

SESM, whose core business is coal trading, signed on Wednesday a deal with Hefei-based solar multinational Sungrow Power Supply Co. Ltd to develop a 10.5 megawatt (MW) solar power plant (PLTS) in South Sumatra, one of the country’s coal heartlands.

To date, Indonesia’s largest solar plant in operation is the 15 MW Likupang plant in North Sulawesi and the largest under development is the 150 MW Cirata plant in West Java.

“SESM and Sungrow will begin plant construction in September 2020 and we plan to have it operational by January 2021,” said SESM president director Zulfian Mirza in a joint statement on Wednesday.

Read also: Coal miner builds solar power plants to provide electricity in remote areas

“This is an opportunity for Sungrow to continually grow, seeing the other potential in Indonesia, going forward,” said Sungrow Indonesia head Baggio Teng.

Sungrow estimated it could develop up to 1.5 GW worth of solar farm projects on water reservoirs and abandoned mining pits around Indonesia, he added.

SESM also signed on Wednesday a deal with Zhejiang-based automaker Today Sunshine New Energy Vehicle Industry Co. Ltd to develop a factory in Batam, Riau Islands, which is an industrial zone and free trade area. The automaker's most iconic product is a small, two-seat, low-speed electric car.

Developers plan for the factory to produce 10,000 five-seater electric vehicles each year. From its founding in 2014 until present, Today Sunshine has produced 50,000 vehicles.

Read also: 6,500MW power plants, mostly coal, set for delay amid pandemic

The two companies aim to begin constructing the Indonesian factory next year.

“We will follow the deal up by processing the permits related to local-content requirements and other principle permits,” said SESM renewables director M. Hamzah.

Indonesia passed in August last year a presidential regulation that lays down several fiscal incentives to develop a domestic electric vehicle and car battery industry.

The government targets to export 1 million vehicles by 2025, of which 20 percent will be electric.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to accommodate a clarification that PT Exploitasi Energi Indonesia is not a subsidiary, but a partner of SESM.