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Prolonged Drought May Result in Power Shortages

October Seen As Critical Point in Meeting Java and Bali's Power Demands.

(8/25/2003) If the drought-like conditions now being experienced in Java and Bali continue through October, representatives of the State Power Company (PLN) predict a power crisis for their customers on the two islands.

Reduced river flows have decreased the power-producing capacities of Java's hydro-electric power plants that supply the Java-Bali power grid, placing a higher dependency on the remaining diesel-based power generating centers. According to a spokesman for PLN, the diesel-generators which are bearing most of the power-generating burden will need to be shut down for routine maintenance by October. Without the reserve power from hydro-electric sources to bridge the shortfall in power during these maintenance periods, brownouts are an inevitable result.

All Eyes Look to the Skies

While the Java power grid continues to provide some 615 Megawatts of power to Bali, that amount is "borderline critical" with any loss power likely to result in brownouts across the island. With Java and Bali dependent on power generated by hydro-electric, diesel generating, and natural gas sources - overwhelmingly located on Java, a delay in the onset of the raining season will critically complicate PLN's ability to produce sufficient power for Java, Madura and Bali. The rainy season normally commences each year in the months of September-October.

While officials are hopeful that the traditional rainy season will arrive on time helping to avoid any massive power shortage, PLN officials are taking a number of preventative steps including programs for power conservation aimed at both the private residential and industrial sectors.