Bali to Switch to Gas for Power Self-Sufficiency

DENPASAR

Bali’s oil-burning power plants will all convert to the cleaner natural gas by the end of 2013, officials in Denpasar said at the weekend.

I Ketut Susanta, chairman of power plant operator PT Bali Global Energi, announced the launch of a “Bali Interim Gas Distribution” programme, which would concentrate on replacing outdated diesel fuelled commercial generators with more modern generators fuled by liquid natural gas (LNG).

“Why should we use gas? Because gas has much lower CO2 emissions when compared to coal or oil. It will create an electricity supply business in Bali which is much more environmentally friendly,” Susanta said.

Susanta said various companies were involved in the switch to gas. The gas itself will be supplied by BP Berau from sources in Papua, and will be delivered to a purpose built terminal in Buleleng.

PT Bali Global Energi will work with PT Indonesia Power, a subsidiary of state energy provider PLN, to upgrade the power plants.

Susanta said the entire project would cost Rp3.5 trillion (US$411.7 million), and that private investors from Thailand were among the backers.

He added that the switch to gas was part of an ongoing effort to make Bali self-sufficient in terms of energy production, following frequent power shortages in recent years.

“As a tourist destination and a barometer of Indonesia in the eyes of the world, Bali really should be self-sufficient in electricity. The programme is expected to provide a solution to the electricity problem in Bali,” Susanta said.

Work will start on the gas receiving station in Buleleng in September, with upgrades at the individual plants continuing next year.

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