Kendari, Southeast Sulawesi (ANTARA) - North Buton District in Southeast Sulawesi Province holds huge potential to become a hotbed for geothermal exploration for future energy reserves.

North Buton District Head Abu Hasan remarked in Kendari on Tuesday that geothermal energy resources in North Buton were discovered along the east coast from Bubu Village, Kambowa Sub-District, to Buranga, Bonegunu District.

In Bubu Village, geothermal energy can be harnessed on the beach in the form of springs, with the release of sulfur gas reaching six square meters, whereas around Buranga, it was found in the form of a hot spring, spanning an area of 60 meters per square, releasing abundant sulfur gas.

"Research has yet to be conducted to explore the potential of North Buton's geothermal energy that is heat generated beneath the earth's surface to serve as an alternative energy source in future," he noted.

North Buton, as a developing, new autonomous region, seeks investment to optimally tap the potential of natural resources but is looking for serious and established investors.

"North Buton has not as yet proactively worked towards drawing investors, particularly in the mining sector, as it had not been prioritized. Moreover, North Buton has given a selective response to potential investors," Hasan remarked.

North Buton DPRD member Muliadin Salenda remarked that apart from the geothermal potential, North Buton also held hydropower potential as a power plant.

"North Buton has large rivers that can potentially become small-scale power plants, or micro-hydro. Renewable technology is significant to optimally utilize natural resources," a Democratic Party politician noted.

Translator: Eliswan Azly
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2019