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Govt: Blackouts not due to power crisis JAKARTA - The government asked on Wednesday for understanding from people in Bali and Java over the planned rotating blackouts on the Java-Bali power network. Ongoing work on the massive grid had caused a shortage of power, but it was aimed at improving power in the future.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the work on the line connecting BP's Offshore Northwest Java field, that had cut power to Muara Karang and Tanjung Priok power plants, would allow more use of gas and reduce the plants' dependence on oil.

Natural gas is not only cheaper, but will also result in higher power-generating capacities at the plants. "So, these (blackouts) are not because of a power crisis. This is in fact to boost natural gas usage in the network. We expect the system to be much better," said Purnomo. Muara Karang and Tanjung Priok plants supply the Java-Bali power grid.

Purnomo was referring to well-publicized plans by the state utility firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to undergo a rotating blackout between the peak hours of 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. between May 23 and June 6.

PLN was forced to do it because power along the overloaded Java-Bali grid would be reduced by up to 386 megawatt (MW) during that period, as a result of the construction work. The reduction would mean that demand in the peak hours could reach up to 14,800 MW, exceeding the generating capacity of about 14,414 MW.

On Monday and Tuesday though, no blackouts were reported -- in what PLN says was the result of the public's voluntary reduction in power consumption. PLN has said that the blackouts could be avoided if each household turned off just two small light bulbs, equal to approximately 50 watts, during peak hours.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who conducted an inspection of the two power plants on Wednesday, urged sacrifices from the businesses and state offices, not only households, so the blackouts could actually be avoided throughout this period. He said shopping malls and office buildings could play a major role in the effort, by slightly reducing the use of power.

The state firm said it would require about US$28.5 billion in investment in the sector in the next 10 years to keep up with the rapidly increasing demand.



Posted in Power supply @ 26 May 2005 06:53 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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