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Limits on Growth: The Power Crisis

Delays in New Electrical Plants Heighten Bali's Power Shortage.

(8/21/2003) Bali's worsening power shortage is likely to become more severe with the recently announced delay in the opening of the Tanjung Jati B power plant.

In testimony last month before Commission VIII of the People's Consultative Assembly (DPR) in Jakarta, the President Director of the State Power Company (PLN) revealed that the scheduled inauguration of the much needed new power plant at Tanjung Jati has been pushed back from 2004 to 2005. Meanwhile, peak power demand of power on the island stands at 13,200 megawatts against a total supply of only 14,000 megawatts.

While PLN officials insist that a stand-by capacity provides a reserve capacity of 20%, any unexpected disruption or breakdown in the current power grid would have dire consequences for Bali's power supply. Steadily increasing power demands and the potential effect of a sustained drought on Java's hydro-electric power producing capacity could make the year 2004 problematic in bridging any power shortfall prior to new electrical sources coming on line the following year.