Ciremai geothermal project to be managed by the central government

Landscape at Garut, West Java (source: flickr/ Achmad Rabin
Carlo Cariaga Carlo Cariaga 19 Mar 2019

Management and development of the Ciremai geothermal project in West Java, Indonesia will be turned over to the central government amidst persistent public opposition.

The central government will continue development of the Gunung Ciremai geothermal project in Kuningan Regency, West Java, Indonesia. This is after PT Chevron chose to let go of the project in 2015 after facing the public’s objection to the management of the project by a foreign company.  PT Chevron was the lone participant in the tender offer for the Ciremai geothermal working area in 2011.

The Director for Geothermal at the Directorate for Renewable and Energy Conservation of the Ministry of Energey (EBTKE) stressed how geothermal power is one of the primary renewable energy sources and that the Kuningan community needs to accept it.

“There have been many regions in Indonesia that have developed geothermal projects, some of which have been operating for 30 years without causing problems. What happened in Lapindo was the result of oil and gas exploration which produces enormous pressures of up to 150 bars. Geothermal-generated pressure is only around 15 bars, so it’s very unlikely to cause an event similar to that in Lapindo.”, so the director.

Through a number of social and community activities, we are hoping to gain support for the project by enhancing the understanding of the project among the community. “The government will continue to develop geothermal projects in the Kuningan Regency and have them managed by state-owned enterprises (BUMN). We find that the Kuningan community is more open to projects if they are developed and managed by BUMN.”

Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) is one of the BUMNs being considered for the Ciremai project. With more than 35 years of experience, Yunus concluded that the selection of PGE will ease the worries of the Kuningan community.

The central government has long planned the development of the geothermal project in Gunung Ciremai area, which has the potential to generate up to 110 MW of electricity.

Source: Radar Cirebon