Installation of Boiler Steam Drum at PLTU Banjarsari [Image: PTBA]
Installation of Boiler Steam Drum at PLTU Banjarsari [Image: PTBA]

PLN selects Black & Veatch to develop small power plants in remote areas

JAKARTA ( – The number of school children in remote towns and villages of Kalimantan, Maluku, Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Sulawesi studying by candlelight will be reduced by 2016 thanks to the development of about 50 new power plants throughout Indonesia.

A new 2GW (gigawatt) program will develop small- and medium-output power plants, some of which will also be mobile, bringing electric power to people currently without access to the grid.

PLN, the national electricity utility, will work with Black & Veatch to develop this enterprising program. The global engineering and construction company has a 40 year track record of supporting development in Indonesia.

The program forms part of the Government’s plan to fast-track 35 GW of electric power development by 2019. By ‘clustering’ these similar projects together, PLN is accelerating the delivery of about 50 plants across different locations. The plants will vary in size, configuration and operation, although common design opportunities will be explored and maximized such as technology type, size range and portability.

“We are working on an aggressive schedule to prepare a cluster of conceptual designs for the plants. Our work helps PLN go to market at an earlier stage than before and shortlist qualified suppliers and contractors. The approach will cut months off a typical planning and delivery schedule,” said Tariq Aziz, South Asia, Director, Energy Services, Black & Veatch and based in Jakarta.

The program is working through what is called the ‘conceptual design’ stage, and Black & Veatch has been appointed by PLN to provide engineering services to accelerate the program. Ranging from approximately 5 MW (megawatt) to 100 MW, smaller plants will start generating much needed power for the public from mid-2016. Remaining larger plants are set to commence operations by 2018.

Black & Veatch has contributed to almost 15,000 MW of installed capacity throughout the country as both consultant and as an EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) provider. Black & Veatch has successfully delivered power plants in many remote and challenging locations throughout Indonesia across Java, Bali, Sumatra and Kalimantan which has included transporting major equipment by river rather than by road.

Bringing power to remote locations presents many challenges. The plants will be fueled by a combination of diesel and LNG (liquefied natural gas) because both fuel sources are more easily transportable by sea or road compared to other traditional fuel sources.

Therefore, the plants will have dual-fuel combustion turbines and dual-fuel fired gas engines. A number of the plants will also be mounted on barges and on trucks to allow relocation and flexibility of electricity supply. This solution has been put to use in other countries such as the Philippines.

“We are in the midst of a great moment in Indonesia’s history and there is a real opportunity to lay the foundation for future growth and generations to come,” said Jim Schnieders, Country Manager, Black & Veatch in Indonesia.

“As a company with a long history in Indonesia, we are honored and excited to be able to help the government realize its efforts to develop more remote areas of Indonesia by bringing electricity to those areas.”

The site locations for the power plants will be announced once conceptual designs and other matters are appropriately resolved. (*)

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