Tarakan, N Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - Kalimantan needs two or three new power stations with a combined capacity of 1.2 thousand megawatts (MW) to meet the electricity demands of households and industries, a minister noted.

"We need to build at least four new power plants, with a capacity of 300 MW each. Thus, the need for providing electricity to households will be met, and school children will be able to study at home quietly," National Development Planning Minister Andrinof Chaniago stated here during a teleconference with East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek on Monday.

The minister said it was ironical that Kalimantan, which is rich in coal and gas, is not able to fulfill the electricity demands of its households and industries.

Andrinof stated that the central government has assured to reform and simplify licensing procedures, particularly the issuance of a license for the development of power plants.

The central government will also cooperate with the regional government in accelerating land clearance procedures for areas, which will be used to boost the peoples economy.

Andrinof revealed that the power and infrastructure shortage issue will be discussed in the Kalimantan Regional Development meeting being held on Monday until Tuesday.

"We will discuss problems, such as licensing and land clearance, in the regional development planning meeting. So, the governments commitment to carry out license procedure reforms should not be doubted," the minister stressed.

During the video teleconference, East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek sought special autonomy for his province as it was believed that several promises made by the central government for East Kalimantan had, so far, not been realized.

Andrinof, who is also the head of the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas), lauded the proposal, but emphasized that strategic infrastructure development in Kalimantan should be prioritized since he believed that strategic infrastructure development is important as it can benefit the people of Kalimantan.

He explained that based on the Bappenas scheme, the infrastructure development will be coupled with the procurement of industrial facilities, and research and training for workers to reinforce the production of value-added goods.

Such facilities will include the establishment of a technology park (Technopark), which will be able to accommodate scientific activities to promote innovation in industries. A Kalimantan Technology Institute can also be established to improve the capacity of Kalimantans human resources.

"Therefore, we encourage the provinces to prioritize their development based on value-added industry and economy. Finished goods must get priority in industrial activities," the minister stated.


Editor: Ella Syafputri
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