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A Delicate Balance of Power

Dependency on the Problem-ridden Java-Bali Power Grid Again Places Bali at Risk of Widespread Power Outages.

(6/25/2007) Bali balances on the precipice of large scale brown-outs following malfunctions at a 5 major power generating stations in Java. Those malfunctions have left Bali facing a potential power deficit of 500 megawatts and prompted National Electrical Board (PLN) officials to ask consumers to reduce power consumption between the hours of 5:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m..

As an additional precautionary step, PLN has asked hotels with stand by power to use their systems to reduce the drain on limited power supplies.

The power deficit traced to mechanical malfunctions or a lack of fuel supplies at power plants in Cilegon, Suralaya, Muara Tawar, Cilacap and Paiton made itself first felt on Wednesday, June 20, 2007 and caught Indonesia's Minister of Energy Purnomo Yusgiantoro completely unaware. When asked about the power deficit by the Indonesian daily Bisnis Indonesia, Purnomo claimed he had not been informed of the major deficit in the Jawa-Bali power grid.

Bali PLN officials were working hard to avoid large scale power outages in Bali, trying to maximize the use of an estimated 200 megawatts of hidden reserve at Bali hotels with back-up power generating systems.

While it is not clear how long Bali's power supply will remain in a precarious position, there was some good news in the midst of the latest electrical crisis as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank have just agreed to make funds available for a five year plan to add 10,000 megawatts in power generation to the Java-Bali power grid.