PLN Resorts to Leased Power Plants

JAKARTA
The Bali Times

PLN will lease two power plants belonging to its subsidiary PT Indonesia Power to add to Bali’s electricity supply.

The news came from the operations director of the Java-Madura-Bali grid, Ngurah Adnyana, who said this week the peak load in Bali was 530MW while the existing capacity of the grid is 570MW.

“But the 40MW difference is not be enough if there is a generator overhaul,” he said.

Adnyana said that ideally spare capacity should be as much as that of the biggest power plant. In Bali, the biggest power plant capacity is 130 megawatt.

To cope with this problem, PLN will lease two power plants in Pesanggaran, one with 30MW capacity and the other with 50MW.

The two power plants are diesel-generated and are being built by “The 30-megawatt power plant will begin operating in June and the other one in December,” Adnyana said.

Meanwhile, a leading tourism analyst says PLN’S planned July price rise threatens the national target of seven million foreign tourists this year.

Diyak Mulahela says the planned rise, which will also apply in Bali – Indonesia’s most popular destination for foreign tourists and still afflicted by PLN’s inability to guarantee power supply – would impose additional unwarranted costs on the hospital sector, especially large power users such as hotels, he said.

Mulahela, former director of Lepita, the tourist information development agency, said the increased tariff would hit many hotels which ran power-saving programmes. The tariff rise would wipe out those savings.

If hotels were forced to deepen their own power-saving arrangements, by restricting lighting, elevator use or air-conditioning, or raise their own room rates or bar and restaurant prices to recoup costs and stay on budget, this could have a flow-on effect by discouraging visitors to return to Indonesia on future holiday trips.

He said the government should reconsider the PLN plan because its effect could be very wide-ranging and might have a negative impact of government revenue targets through reduced collections of entertainment tax, hotel tax and other imposts.

Mulahela said energy costs for hotels generally consisted of 75 percent for electricity, 15 percent for diesel, and 10 percent for water.

The House of Representatives recently asked the government to assess the impact of the proposed 15 percent tariff rise.

Local hotel operators have also complained about the price rise, saying the July start date was too sudden and hotels were not prepared for the additional cost.

“For us, the rate increase plan was very sudden. It should be decided a year in advance,” said PHRI Bali chief Cok Oka AA Sukawati, who is also regent of Gianyar.

He said hotels operated on budgets drawn up in accordance with advance booking from travel agents and would have difficulty meeting the new power charges since they could not immediately increase their own tariffs.

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