Copenhagen (ANTARA News) - The government, through the State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Ministry, is planning to optimize the use of dams, not only as a provider of water for irrigation, but to provide water for hydropower plants (PLTA).

"Together with the Norwegian company Statkraft, they are interested in hydropower in Indonesia because of the potential that exists, which is quite large. We guarantee it will be easy to invest in," said State Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Monday, September 19.

Rini said the SOE Ministry has asked companies based in Norway to perform an assessment of the 60 dams in Indonesia.

"Indeed, the dam already exists and is used for irrigation, but we saw the potential for hydropower. They plan to come to Indonesia in October 2016," said Rini.

Rini added that one of the examples that have been carried out by another company is the approval for the Jati Luhur Dam in West Java. At the dam reservoir, water from the Citarum River provided a total capacity of 600 Mega Watt (MW).

"Jati Luhur has the potential for generating 600MW, but is currently still under 100MW. This plan will also be included in the program for 35.000MW of additional electrical energy. It is also focused on renewables, which Indonesia has a commitment to," Rini said.

Meanwhile, Director of Corporate Planning of State Electricity Company (PT PLN) Nicke Widyawati said that to optimize the usefulness of the reservoir, so it becomes a source of electricity generation, it is still requires a feasibility study.

"Of the 60 dams, everything can be ascertained for hydropower. However, all the reservoirs have potential, but so far they are only used for irrigation," said Nicke.

Further, according to Nicke, Indonesia has a huge potential for hydroelectric power generation, especially outside of Java Island. One example is a river in North Kalimantan Province which has the potential to reach 6.000MW.

"Electricity in Indonesia is not just a matter of building it. As in North Kalimantan, the river could 6.000MW in potential, but demand is only 60MW. So it should be built closer to industry," said Nicke.

Nicke added, if the potential source of hydropower plants is located on the Java Islands, power can still be transmitted. However, if located outside of Java Island, it has great potential.

"Unlike in Norway, electricity can be sold to other countries. While in Indonesia, there are 17,000 islands and a demand which is both large and small," said Nicke.

The SOE Minister is conducting a working visit to the Scandinavian countries this week. The visit included Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark. Within the working visit, the government is trying to attract businesses in those countries to invest in Indonesia.

At the end of the visit to Denmark there was a signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between State Electricity Company (PT PLN) and an international group of investors, as well as for cooperation with Vestas Wind Systems of Denmark for the construction of Pembangkit Listrik Tenaga Bayu (PLTB/INE).(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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