Bali to Hold Electric New Record, Says PLN


State electricity firm PLN says planned towers hoisting power lines across the Bali Strait from Java will set a record for the world’s tallest transmission pylons.

Company chief Dahlan Iskan said the towers would be 376 meters high.

“We call the towers the Bali Crossing, which will transmit electricity from Java to Bali with a capacity of up to 3,000 megawatts,” he said.

He said high towers were required to transmit electricity from the Paiton power plant in East Java, which has a capacity of thousands of megawatts, to Bali.

The project is part of PLN’s plan to add power to electricity-starved Bali, which suffers from frequent blackouts.

“The construction of the towers will be started by the end of this year or early next year,” Iskan said.

The record-setting pylons would have bases the size of a soccer field, he said, and contain elevators.

Their massive width of 70 meters was to ensure they could withstand strong winds and prevent cables from touching one another, which could lead to short circuits.

Iskan said records showed that in the past 100 years windspeeds over Bali had reached up to 60 kilometres per hour. The towers were therefore designed to endure winds of up to 70 kilometres per hour.

The PLN chief said the towers’ construction would herald a new era of acclaim for Bali.

“The towers will be the pride of Bali, as they will be higher than the current tallest in the world, in People’s Republic of China, at 370 meters high,” he said.

He said PLN would work with forestry authorities to minimise any impacts the project might have on the environment, a concern previously voiced by opponents of the plan.

Dahlan said the main reason for building the towers was that undersea cables were not reliable due to strong currents in the Bali Strait. The company had laid nine cables in the strait but only two remained, the other seven washed away by the current, he said.

And he added that Bali’s long-running electricity woes might soon be over.

“If everything goes well, Bali’s electricity needs will be met for the next 25 years,” he said.

Bali is currently consuming 600 MW of electricity at peak times.

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