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A Struggle for Power in Bali and Java

National Power Board (PLN) in Disarray as Rotating Blackouts Introduced in Java and Bali.

(7/12/2008) Tempo Interaktif reports that the National Power Board (PLN) has admitted it is overwhelmed by the rapid increase in electrical power demand nation-wide and, in response, has established a special energy conservation team to audit the consumption of electricity in Jakarta's commercial buildings.

The President Director of PLN, Fahmi Mochtar, said the growth in consumer electrical demand is high at 6.8 %.

Fahmi said that conservation steps must be introduced to ensure subsidies for fuel supplies needed to generate electricity do not increase. He also warned that power supplies for the Java-Bali power grid were at a critical level for the month of July due to low power reserves and interrupted supplies of coal supplies.

According to Tempo Interaktif the rising cost of diesel oil has caused many factories to shut down their on-site generators and tap into more affordable PLN power supplies.

The 6.8% growth in electrical demand, a sudden increase in power requirements from the industrial sector no longer prepared to generate their own power, and a shut down at the major steam-generating power plant at Cilacap have combined to result in a 700 MW power deficit in the Java-Bali power grid. The Cilacap plant has reportedly ceased operations due unpaid bills for essential coal supplies.

In an effort to minimize the number of rotating black-outs now being introduced in Jakarta PLN has issued a request to industrial customers to change their hours of production to reduce peak hour demand. Among the steps being undertaken by PLN are requests for manufacturers to shift their production schedules to weekends when power demands are less.