Pangkalpinang (ANTARA) - PT ThorCon Power Indonesia has prepared an investment fund of Rp17 trillion for the construction of a thorium power plant (PLTT) on Gelasa Island in Bangka Belitung (Babel) Islands Province.

"We expect legal certainty from the central government regarding the PLTT on Gelasa Island," said the director of operations of PT ThorCon Power Indonesia, Bob S. Effendi, in Pangkalpinang on Wednesday.

He said that the investment fund of Rp17 trillion for the construction of the PLTT on Gelasa Island will not be disbursed without legal certainty from the central government.

"We expect the government to provide a regulation of the Perpres (presidential regulation) so that changes related to spatial planning made by the provincial government can be covered by the Perpres," he added.

According to him, currently, the National Energy Council (DEN) is revising an important stipulation regarding the position of nuclear energy in the National Energy Policy (KEN).

"What is certain is that with climate change and international policies, coal-fired power plants, which account for 68 percent of Indonesia's electricity, must be closed in stages by 2040. Therefore, a transition is needed to other energy sources that provide the same or greater economic value and benefits," he explained.

He said that thorium and nuclear energy are energy sources that can provide greater economic value and benefits than coal so the transition from coal to nuclear is inevitable.

"We ourselves have conducted various studies for the past two years. The results show that every impact from this PLTT can be mitigated and (it) will not have a permanent impact on the environment," he stressed.

He said that his company has built a fuel laboratory in collaboration with the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), which is targeted for commissioning after Eid al-Fitr.

The laboratory, which comprises two containers, will later become the forerunner for the fuel factory that will be built in Bangka Belitung.

With the government targeting to obtain eight gigawatts of electricity from nuclear power plants by 2040 and 54 gigawatts by 2060, the first nuclear power plant is planned to become operational by 2032, he added.

This schedule is in accordance with the timeline that his company has submitted to the government for the commercial operation date (COD) in 2031–2032.

"During the past two years, we have conducted various studies. The process is still long but this is the first step in development. We can no longer close our eyes to the benefits of nuclear energy," he said.

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Translator: Aprionis, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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