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Bali's Electrical Power Supply on Critical Footing

'Stand-by' Status Expected to Persist Through Early 2009.

(11/8/2008) Kompas reports that Bali's electrical power supply is in a "stand by" emergency status due to consumption of 102 megawatts of a planned stand-by capacity of 130 megawatts. The State Power Board (PLN) for Bali estimate the critical power balance will continue to affect the island through the early part of 2009.

PLN officials blame the near-deficit in available power on high usage rates among government and tourism consumers and the delay in launching new power generating plants on the island of Java.

The General Manager of Distribution for PLN in Bali, Sudirman, told the press: "Our recommendations to the public to conserve their electric use targeted at a 10% reduction has fallen short. We have therefore been compelled to tighten approvals for new installations, applying a system of priority in new connections."

Through the end of October 2008 peak electrical consumption in Bali has exceeded 460 megawatts, with only 562 megawatts of power allocated for the island. There are presently 4,000 new consumers on the waiting list for power installation in Bali against a total customer base of 740,000.

Sudirman bemoaned the fact that most government offices have ignored requests that they install power-saving lighting fixtures, despite supporting statements from Bali's governor. Government officials respond that they have no budget allocation to purchase the expensive low-wattage power-saving light bulbs.

Another PLN official in Bali has urged consumers to exercise caution through January 2009 because of the heavy winds and rain that are common at this time of year. Power outages are common in Indonesia during periods of stormy weather.