Blackouts on Again: PLN Pulls the Plug at Gilimanuk
DENPASAR ~ PLN plunged Bali back into rolling blackouts this week because of maintenance problems at Gilimanuk – just a week after the state-owned monopoly electricity provider officially ended disrupting blackouts imposed last October for the same reason.
A week earlier it had announced that Gilimanuk was fully back on line. It originally said blackouts from October 10 would end on December 6, then said they would end earlier – and then said they would continue until January 15.
PLN announced last Friday that it had closed operations at Gilimanuk due to overheating of the plant’s generators.
When operating normally, the Gilimanuk plant provides 130MW of Bali’s total consumption of 493MW.
Announcing the new series of blackouts, PLN spokesman Agung Mastika said PLN had opted to re-introduce the blackouts for an indefinite period rather than run the generator at Gilimanuk and risk further damage to the plant.
“We haven’t identified the cause of the rising temperature,” he said. “Our technicians are still checking the generators, but we are trying to finish the repair as soon as possible.”
Chairman of the Bali Consumer Protection Agency (LPK) Putu Armaya said PLN should have made the most of the two-month maintenance period during which it should have conducted tests.
When the first in the new round of blackouts occurred for about two and a half hours last Friday, he immediately telephoned PLN as he had received many complaints from consumers.
“PLN said they had encountered a problem at the Gilimanuk plant,” said Armaya. “We asked PLN to publicly disclose whether the blackouts would continue.”
Armaya urged Bali’s provincial and regency administrations to actively seek alternative energy supplies, either from PLN or from other sources.
“We are all aware that Bali has limited sources of energy,” he said. “The administration should consider reactivating the Nusa Penida solar energy project as well as the wind energy project.”
Armaya said he would write to Bali’s senior leaders, including Governor I Made Mangku Pastika. “We will ask them to discuss this problem with related stakeholders, including NGOs.”
He also confirmed that the agency had initiated a class action lawsuit to try to force PLN to compensate consumers for the blackouts, which have impacted badly on small businesspeople such as artisans.Filed under: Headlines