State utility PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara will soon set a ceiling on the prices it will pay for electricity bought from privately owned geothermal power plants, an official from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources said on Monday.
Jacobus Purwono, the ministry’s director general for electricity and energy utilization, said that per his meeting with PLN, the ceiling price will be announced within two weeks. The move is expected to provide a boost to the geothermal energy sector, which is seen as advantageous for being renewable and potentially cost-competitive, but suffers from high up-front costs, long development periods and lack of standardized pricing. The ceiling price, according to Purwono, will vary depending on the capacity of each geothermal power plant and will also differ according to the project as well. “PLN can set the ceiling price as it wishes, our approval isn’t necessary,” he said. The Wayang Windu plant in Pengalengan, West Java, is currently the biggest geothermal power plant in the country, with two turbines that generate 110 MW and 170 MW. Its total generating capacity is expected to hit 400 MW by the end of 2012
Source: The Jakarta Globe, 18 Aug 2009, p. B2