Stand By for More Big Blackouts, Says PLN

DENPASAR

Bali’s monopoly state power provider PLN says it cannot provide sufficient electricity to Bali and has asked people to turn off their lights to conserve usage.

Bali PLN chief Dadan Koerniadipoera said Bali’s many hotels should operate on their own generators at peak times and private homes should turn off as many lights as possible between 6pm and 9pm to relieve peak pressure on the power grid.

The announcement comes as many parts of Bali were plunged into darkness last week in a widespread outage still unexplained by PLN.

PLN, which is heavily in debt and has a questionable maintenance record, promised last year that after months of rolling load-shedding blackouts Bali would experience only a maximum of nine power cuts this year.

Last week’s huge blackout, on March 14, which left most of Denpasar, Badung, Gianyar, Klungkung and Karangasem without power for more than three hours, remains a mystery to PLN.

It said eight of its 11 substations in Bali suddenly lost power but why they did so was unknown.

Dadan said the blackout affected sub-stations throughout the 40-kilometre distance between Padang Sambian and the main generating plant at Pesanggaran near Sanur.

“This event was outside human control. There was a disruption in the 150kVA transmission network,” he said.

He added: “About three years ago in Banyuwangi, East Java, a kite caused an blackout that reached as far as Bali.”

The lengthy series of load-shedding blackouts PLN imposed on Bali in 2009 caused a mass public outcry and led to Governor I Made Mangku Pastika’s “wires in the sky” proposal for a cross-strait, pylon-mounted high-voltage line from Java to Bali and then down a controversial high-voltage line to Denpasar.

Nothing has been heard of that proposal for some time.

A new thermal generator at Celuk in Buleleng that the governor said late last year would soon be on stream was revealed this month to be still at the planning stage.

And the provincial government has consistently ruled out sourcing power from natural geothermal sources near Bedugul because the area’s geology is sacred.

The 2009 blackouts extended into 2010 despite repeated promises by PLN that they would end prior to Christmas that year.

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2 Responses to “Stand By for More Big Blackouts, Says PLN”

  1. george Says:

    Slash PLN’s top executives’ salaries due to a lack of performance, or put the pressure on elected state officials to have those executives fired, see how soon they’ll fix the power problems. Pressure also needs to be put on Central Government in Jakarta, since they all profit from the enormous profits from tourism and project developments in Bali! It’s sad and outrageous that the obvious and necessary investments are not being made in one of the nations best developed parts. Corruption and political games are always at the roots of the problems in Indonesia! The richest “development” country in the world!!! Shame on them!

  2. Pete Says:

    They could at least give wearnings in the newspapers / radio to let people no of the ares affected to enable planning. So much for satisfying the customers.

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