South Halmahera to have geothermal power plant

Ternate, North Maluku (ANTARA News) - A geothermal power plant would be built in the regency of South Halmahera, North Maluku, utilizing a geothermal reserve, which has a capacity of 140 megawatts in Songa, on Bacan island.

"The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry has told the district administration of South Halmahera that the tender would be open for the project this year," head of the regional research and development planning board (BPPPD) Daud Djubaedi said here on Monday.

The geothermal power plant to be built would have a capacity of 2x10 MW Daud said.

The geothermal power plant is expected to be able to cope with shortage in energy supply in South Halmahera especially on the island of Bacan, which had relied only on supply from a 7 MW capacity power plant of the state electricity company PLN..

Daud said the power plant is also expected to attract investment into this region as shortage in power supply has been one of the main factors discouraging investors from doing business in the area.

He said he could not yet said a date when the power plant would come on stream but the ESDM Ministry has said its construction would be accelerated to support the program to develop renewable energy and development of power plants with a total capacity of 35,000 MW until 2019.

He said PLN also would soon build a gas fired power plant in Panamboang with a capacity of 10 MW to support development of fishery industry in Panamboang.

There is a fishery terminal in Panamboang, where investors have indicated strong interest in building fishery industry. However, prospective investors shelved their project on problem in power supply, he said.

He said a number of nickel mining companies operating in South Halmahera such as on the island of Obi are also building a gas fired power plant for smelter.

The power output would be enough for the smelter and the household around the factory, he added.(*)