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Power to the People

Bali Needs Additional Power to Meet Added Demand of Hotels and Infrastructure Project Coming On Line in 2013

(3/11/2012) Bali Post predicts that by 2013 Bali will be facing an electrical crisis made all the more acute by large scale infrastructure projects scheduled to come on line in time for the Asia Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) Summit scheduled for late 2013. Among the projects cited as placing an added, and possiblly unsupportable burden, on Bali’s electrical grid are the new toll way, the expansion of Bali’s airport, the Bali International Park Project (BIP) and the opening of a number large hotel projects.

The concerns over insufficient power supply were spoken by the secretary of Commission III of the Bali House of Representatives (DPRD-Bali), IGN Suryanta Putra, on Friday, March 9,2012. He estimates by 2013 Bali will be experiencing a shortfall in power supplies amounting to 300 megawatts from the total 600 megawatts now available to the island.

Some members of the DPRD-Bali have expressed the hope that the controversial geothermal electrification project in Bedugul and a steam-generating project powered by coal in Celukan Bawang will be able to come on line in time to meet the looming shortage in electrification. Explained Suryanta, “if the power plant in Celukan Bawang can operate in 2013 it will add 250 megawatts bringing the total available power supply to 850 megawatts.”

Meanwhile, he continued, the shortfall of around 150 megawatt can hopefully be met via submarine power cables running from Java to Bali. At the same time, he warned: “If the submarine cable is broken again, Bali should be ready for a total blackout.”

The Celukan Bawang power project is currently at a standstill due to the inability to come to terms with a final local property owner of 24 hectares of land needed for the power-generating complex. The remaining landowner is seeking a price for his property substantially higher than that paid to surrounding landowners who have alreadt sold their land to the project. PT General Elecktrik Bali (PT GEB), who are developing the project, has already acquired 56 hectares for the power plant, with the remaining 24 hectares in the hands of the single remaining recalcitrant landowner.

The owners who have already relinquished their land received Rp. 20 million (US$2,200) per are (100 square meters).