Residents Raise a Racket Over PLN’S ‘Save Bali’ Plan

DENPASAR
The Bali Times

PLN’S move to offset its chronic undersupply of electricity to Bali by using two new diesel generators to be built by its subsidiary Indonesia Power at Pesanggaran between Kuta and Sanur has come under fire from local residents.

They say the first of the units makes too much noise and keeps them awake at night.

PLN announced the supplement plan last week, saying the two new generators would supply a total of 80MW to partially cover the shortfall if Bali’s biggest generator – the 130MW plant at Gilimanuk, which generates from the Java network via the undersea cable – broke down or had to be taken offline for maintenance.

But nearby residents say the new unit now installed is very noisy and that PLN had said it would use a Swiss generator but in fact installed a Chinese one.

Leading provincial politician IGP Suryanta, vice chairman of Commission II in the Bali legislature, said:

“The residents are protesting because the engine sounds really noisy,” he said. “They feel very disturbed, especially at night as they are unable to sleep.”

One local resident, Sena, said residents did not oppose measures to secure Bali’s power supply but they did want a quiet life in their own neighbourhood. “Find a way [to provide quieter power generation] and we’ll have new supplies of electricity and residents can sleep. There should be measures to reduce noise levels,” he said.

Meanwhile discussions continue on the high-voltage supply plan promoted by Governor I Made Mangku Pastika to bring electricity direct from Java via and elevated high-tension power line that would cross the Bali Strait and then traverse parts of western Buleleng, Jembrana, Tabanan and Badung regencies.

Chairman of Commission III in the legislature, Agus Suradnyana, said last weekend the legislature had approved the plan subject to strict environmental and other requirements and its recommendation had gone to the Governor.

Under this plan the high-voltage supply would initially only go to Gilimanuk while issues such as land acquisition for the transmission towers and measures to protect temples – including the important Pura Segara at Rupek – were worked out.

Environmentalists have warned that endangered forest and fauna – including the now rare Bali starling – would be put at further risk by building the new power line.

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