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GDF Suez going after Indonesia

The world’s largest private utility company, GDF Suez, has opened two new offices in Indonesia to expand its growing local business.

GDF Suez Energy Asia CEO Willem van Twembeke said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the new offices – GDF Suez Energy Indonesia and GDF Suez Exploration and Production International — were opened to better tap Indonesia’s rich natural resources.

“We consider Indonesia an extremely important country for our international development. It has to do with the size of the country and it has to do with positive economics dynamics,” van Twembeke said.

Other than Indonesia, GDF Suez Energy International also operates in five Asian countries; China, Laos, Pakistan, Singapore and Thailand.

In Indonesia, GDF Suez Energy Indonesia currently operates coal and geothermal projects. It holds a 40.5 percent stake in PT Paiton Energy, an independent power producer (IPP) that owns and operates three coal-fired power plants in Java.

Total production capacity of the plants tops 2,000 megawatts (MW). The last plant, Paiton 3, started
operations in March.

“We are the largest IPP in Indonesia. For example, Paiton 3 has a capacity of 815 MW, making it a supercritical coal-fired power plant. It is the first on the Java-Bali grid and is also the most efficient plant on the Java-Bali grid,” van Twembeke said.

Paiton 3 uses 400 tons of sub-bituminous coal per hour, with a coal coming from Kalimantan under 30-year contracts from Adaro that accounts for 70 percent of its total supply. Kideco supplies the remainder.

GDF Suez Energy Indonesia, in collaboration with Japan-based Sumitomo Corporation and PT Supreme Energy, is developing three geothermal power plants in Sumatra. The plants, with a total expected production capacity of 680 MW, will be located in Muara Laboh, West Sumatra; Rajabasa, Lampung; and Rantau Dedap, South Sumatra.

The plants are the company’s first geothermal projects, according to van Twembeke. In March, the company signed 30-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with state utility firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) for the Muara Laboh and Rajabasa plants.

“Immediately after signing the PPAs, we started the drilling work in Muara Laboh. Today, we reached a depth of 800 meters. We are expecting that, by the middle of next week, we will see the early results of our possible geothermal steam sources underground,” he said.

GDF Suez Energy Asia CEO for business development Indonesia Jan Bartak said the company would soon sign another PPA with PLN for the Rantau Dedap power plant, adding that all three plants were expected to begin commercial operations by 2017.

Van Twembeke said that GDF Suez Energy Indonesia would also pursue other projects, citing its interest bidding on a coal-fired power plant tender in Mulut Tambang, South Sumatra, in 2013.

“We are also interested in hydropower projects. In Asia, the only hydro powerproject we have is in Laos. There are a lot of hydro possibilities in Indonesia,” he said.

Meanwhile, GDF Suez Exploration and Production International CEO Didier Holleaux said the company hoped that its gas projects would start producing in early 2016.

GDF Suez currently partners with Eni Indonesia to operate two gas fields in Muara Bakau, East
Kalimantan.

“In the next few years, we hope that Indonesia will be able to contribute significantly to our gas production. Right now we produce 145,000 barrels of oil and gas equivalent per day,” he said.

The company would channel 25 percent of the future gas production for domestic consumption and allocate the remaining 75 percent for exports, Holleaux added.

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