"The water will run out if all the generators operate continuously."
Banjarnegara (ANTARA News) - Due to the decreased water level at Mrica reservoir in Banjarnegara, Central Java, Soedirman hydropower plant is currently operating only two of its turbines.

"Starting from July 25, the three turbines each with a capacity of 60.30 megawatts were ready for operation after undergoing maintenance earlier. During the dry season, like now, we only operate one or two," said Gunawan Sri Wibowo, the Senior Security Supervisor and Public Relations of PT Indonesia Power, here on Tuesday.

In the dry season, Gunawan explained, Soedirman hydropower plant must maintain the water level at the Mrica reservoir at 231.6 metres because of the limited inflow of water at about 20 cubic metres per second .

"The water will run out if all the generators operate continuously," he said.

The turbines, managed by the Load Service and Management Centre in Unggaran, Semarang, operate at peak capacity from 5 am through 10 pm.

The operational hours are sometimes reduced by the centre because of the water shortage at 9 am.

"It is the centre that regulates the operation of these turbines. We are only on-site to carry out the centre's orders in case of emergencies," Gunawan said.

He pointed out that the available water in Mrica reservoir was still enough for Soedirman hydropower plant's operations.

"There is no hydropower shortage faced by the plant on account of the decreased water level at Mrica reservoir, because the crop growing season is over," Gunawan added.

Therefore, hydro turbine maintenance work is often carried out during harvest time, when the rice fields do not need irrigation water from the reservoir.

Besides Soedirman hydropower plant, which has a capacity of 180.9 megawatt (MW), PT Indonesia Power also manages 12 other hydropower plants, including Tulis hydropower (22 MW) in Banjarnegara, Ketengger hydropower (8 MW) in Banyumas, and Garung hydropower (26 MW) in Wonosobo.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
Copyright © ANTARA 2012