Minister Asks Anti-graft Body to Investigate State Power Firm
State-owned Enterprise Minister Dahlan Iskan supported a proposal by lawmakers to have the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) review state electricity firm PLN’s losses of Rp37.6 trillion.
“If this case is taken to the KPK, it is good. I will support it,” the Minister said here after a hearing with the House of Representatives (DPR)’s Commission VII on energy affairs. The hearing focused on PLN’s inefficiencies that resulted in a loss of Rp37.6 trillion during the 2009-2010 period.
The minister said having the case heard by the KPK was a positive step, as part of an effort to make the electric company’s conduct more transparent.
Dahlan said the PLN had used diesel fuel when it could not obtain gas, which was wasteful.
“This left the impression that PLN suffered Rp37 trillion in losses while, indeed, its book recorded a profit of Rp9 trillion,” said the minister, who was a former president director of PLN.
He noted that although the bookkeepers reported a profit (of Rp9 trillion), he did not consider this an achievement.
The reported spending took place when Dahlan was the PLN’s president director. Dahlan said he used diesel fuel for PLN’s generators because the company did not receive gas, which was relatively cheaper.
If PLN did not use fuels, however, most of the Jakarta area would experience blackouts or power outages.
“At that time I faced two choices: power outages in Jakarta or usage of fuels. I chose usage of fuels,” he said.
Therefore, he added, the inefficiency of PT PLN, which had resulted in the loss of Rp37.6 trillion, was caused by a lack of gas, which forced the company to switch to diesel fuel, which is more expensive than gas.
“The Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) said that the inefficiency was not caused by corruption, but the low availability of gas, forcing the PLN to use diesel fuel,” Dahlan said.
In the report, BPK No.30/Auditama VII/ PDTT/09/2011 September 16 2011, BPK realised that state losses in the eight power plants between 2009 and 2011 had reached Rp37.6 trillion. These losses were due to the usage of fuel oil in PLN’s power plants, rather than gas.
Filed under: The Nation