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Bali's Deteriorating Power Grid

Aging Infrastructure and Insufficient Capacity Spells More Electrical Power Outages Ahead for Bali.

(3/24/2010) As Bali's residents face increasingly frequent power outages, the people who run the Bali Power Board (PT PLN) are blaming their spotty performance on an outdated and worn out physical plants at power generating stations supplying Bali consumers.

A report in The Jakarta Post quotes the PLN-Bali spokesperson, Agung Mastika, who says breakdowns in the Pesanggaran diesel-powered plant in Denpasar, Pemaron gas-powered plant in Buleleng, and the Gilimanuk power plant were due to an aging infrastructure together with faulty underwater transmission lines connecting Java and Bali. According to Mastika: "All the machines are very old, they were made in the 1970s. Although we have conducted routine maintenance, technical errors still occur, thus decreasing the power supply, and the only solution is to cut the power temporarily."

Bali's total power grid can generate 592 MW of power with Pesanggaran providing 182 MW; Pemaron 80 MW, Gilimanuk 130 MW and power plants in Java sending another 200 MW. Bali's current peak load reaches 515 MW with growing power demand from new consumers and thousands of poor Balinese still living without electricity.

PLN-Bali is asking that the provincial government to create new power sources and approve new Bali crossing transmission lines as part of the very heavy investment that must be made in overhauling the existing power system.