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PLN to build extensive undersea cable network for Bintan Island

PLN to build extensive undersea cable network for Bintan Island

State-owned electricity company PT PLN plans to build a 10-kilometer submarine and 1-km underground power cables to supply surplus power from Batam to neighboring Bintan Island, which remains short of electricity.

The investment value of the project amounts to Rp 431 billion (US$48 million) and it is projected to be completed by 2014.

After the recent signing of the contract for the construction of the undersea and underground power cables with consortium leader Viscas Corporation’s chief of staff, Yoshiro Matsui, and PT Karya Mitra Nugraha’s president director, Permadie Setiakusuma, PLN’s managing director, Nur Pamudji, said that larger power plants would be built after completion of the interconnected power system, which would be located either on Batam or Bintan islands.

The network, which will take 14 months to build, will be started in March this year.

Currently, PLN Batam has a power output of 314 megawatts (MW) with a peak load of only 266 MW, so it has a surplus output of 50 MW.

Power demand in Batam reaches 12.1 percent annually. PLN Batam’s power surplus has increased along with the operation of the Tanjung Kasam steam-power plant (PLTU), which has an output of 110 MW.

“Power to Bintan will be supplied by a number of plants in Batam that currently have a surplus of power,” said Nur.

The underground and undersea power cable project comprises the west corridor, which will involve laying a 150-kilovolt underground power cable stretching 1,000 meters, and a submarine power cable spanning 3,450 meters from the Tanjung Kasam PLTU in Batam to Ngenang Island.

The undersea cable will pass through Tanjung Sauh Island, located between Batam and Bintan islands. Thereafter, the east corridor, spanning 6,550 meters from Ngenang Island to Tanjung Taloh on Bintan, will be built resulting in a total length of undersea cable reaching 10 km.

Dadan Koerniadipoera, the president director of PLN’s subsidiary, B’right PLN Batam, said his office would sell the power, based on a calculation of 116 percent of the power basic cost of production (BPP). Currently, Batam’s BPP is Rp 1,040 per kilowatt hour (KwH).

“The interconnection will allow PLN Batam to sell its surplus power outside Batam and earn additional income,” said Dadan.

Meanwhile, PLN’s expectation of supplying power to Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) could be hampered by the absence of a Singaporean internal regulation on the importation of electricity.

Earlier in February, B’right PLN Batam said it had received an invitation to bid for a contract to supply electricity to the EMA, stating that bidding on the tender would be opened in 2013 for delivery in 2017.

Dadan said it would cost Rp 12 trillion to build a 1,000-MW plant to provide power to Singapore according to PLN Batam’s preliminary feasibility study.

“The export of electricity to Singapore is hampered by the country’s internal issue, as the country has yet to regulate import-export transactions on electricity. PLN Batam is still preparing for the project,
however,” said Dadan.

“We will also be invited by the EMA to offer suggestions on an import regulation for the electricity sector, which may be resolved next year,” he added.

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