Government set to finish electrification of Papua in 2018

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said the government is set to finish electrification program in Papua and West Papua in 2018 using solar power plants to dismiss darkness at night in the villages in the countrys easternmost provinces.

"This is the target of the government . This year or next year at the latest , there would be electric lamps. Electric lamps are more important. Next we would build electric networks," the minister said in a media discussion here on Sunday.

The discussion was attended by Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuliono, Communications and Informatics Minister Rudiantara and Communications Minister Budi Karya.

Jonan said most of 2,500 villages still without electricity in the country are in the two regions.

Around 136,000-140,000 households of 260,000 households still engulfed by darkness every night in the country are in Papua and West Papua, he said.

He said the program is that every household not yet having electrification would be provided with a solar panel with four lamps and battery chargers for cellular phones.

The lamps consists of three categories - ones that could last for 6 hours, 12 hours and 60 hours.

Jonan said in Papua, the government would build 9 units of power plant with renewable energy with a capacity of 365 Megawatts until 2019.

The minister also said his office would back up the policy to create a single price of premium gasoline all over the country including Papua and West Papua.

He said currently there is no more gasoline sold at Rp60,000 per liter, adding the highest price is Rp12,000 per liter as against the normal price of Rp6,500 per liter in other parts of the nation.

Transport cost to the interior areas of Papua pushed up the price of goods not yet produced in that region.

Cement price could be as high as more than Rp1,500 a sack in interior area of Papua as against a normal price of Rp50,000 in other regions of the country.(*)

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