Bad weather hampers cable installation

Bali’s program to boost its supply of electricity is being hampered due to the delayed installation of two underwater cables along the Bali Strait connecting Ketapang and Gilimanuk. State electricity company PT PLN had targeted completion of the installation by January, but stormy weather over the last couple of months has caused rough seas and forced the company to delay its plan for two to three months. “We have prepared all the materials and supporting facilities, but we have had to delay the installation due to the stormy weather,” said Agung Mastika, the company’s spokesman for the Bali office.

He said the company had targeted operating the system as of June, adding that the acceleration was part of preparations for the APEC Summit later this year. In anticipation of Bali’s need for electricity outstripping its supply, the company will increase power supplies with the installation of these two underwater cables, each able to provide 100 megawatt (MW), to add to the capacity of two existing cables totaling 200 MW. The total power supply in Bali now amounts to 690 MW, consisting of 190 MW from a diesel powered plant and gas powered plant in Pesanggaran, 130 MW from Gilimanuk gas powered plant, 170 MW from Pemaron diesel powered plant, and 200 MW from two underwater cables.

The island’s peak consumption has reached as high as 664.4 MW. With the additional 200 MW from the soon-to-be installed underwater cables, Bali will be able to accommodate consumption of up to 896 MW. Every year, the island sees a 10 percent rise in electricity consumption. The tourism sector, particularly hotels, consumes 55 percent of Bali’s total electricity. The presence of new hotels, as well as new rooms in existing hotels, has significantly increased the demand for electricity. I Wayan Sueca, PLN manager for south Bali, said the island urgently needed to have more electricity, partly due to the operation of the newly expanded Ngurah Rai airport.

He said the airport would need 60 MW, far greater than the current 4.8 MW. IGN Adnyana, the company’s director of operations for Java and Bali, said that the company had invested Rp 450 billion (US$46.26 million) for the two underwater cables, each of which was 2.5 kilometers long. The company will gradually increase the supply from Java. Besides installing the two cables, the company will also commence the Bali crossing project, which will see cables connected via towers in Ketapang and Gilimanuk, with a total capacity of 3,200 MW. It has also started building the Celukan Bawang power plant in Buleleng, which will provide a further 380 MW. The recently inaugurated two solar power plants in Kubu, Karangasem, and in Kintamani, Bangli, are able to supply 1 MW, respectively. However, the supply has not been stable.

source : bali daily

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