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Geothermal training as element of NZ-Indonesia geothermal cooperation

JW Marriott, Jakarta, Indonesia (source: flickr/ Aktiv Phil, creative commons)
Francisco Rojas 24 Feb 2015

New Zealand has been key to the geothermal training and development of Indonesia, to the benefit of the industry as a whole.

Local news cover a very interesting story on the long and close relationship between New Zealand and Indonesia in geothermal training and development.

For decades New Zealand has been working with Indonesia to help tap into its geothermal potential, with Dr. Greg Bignall, head of the geothermal department at GNS Science, understanding just how important this connection is.

He has been involved in the geothermal connection for the past 20 years and said he had high hopes for the New Zealand-Indonesian geothermal relationship.

“The New Zealand prime minister and Indonesian president have indicated that geothermal is an important area by which we can strengthen bilateral links — and at GNS we want to play our part,” Bignall said.

The development has grown from there, and Bignall said at GNS Science the current focus was on geothermal research and training in Indonesia, with a particularly strong partnership with Yogyakarta’s Gadjah Mada University.

“What we need is more realistic, achievable targets and getting wins that demonstrate geothermal development success to the wider political audience, and the public in general,” Bignall said.

However, New Zealand working closely with Indonesia can have its challenges.

“GNS would be better able to support the Indonesian geothermal industry if the contracting processes were easier,” Bignall said. “We have recently provided rig geology services in the region, but our level of engagement is far less than what we do in Philippines — we could do so much more.”

But Indonesia still holds a special place in New Zealanders’ hearts, as Bignall said he “cannot think of any major geothermal development in Indonesia that has not involved New Zealanders or New Zealand lead decision making and advice … we’re linked.”

“Our New Zealand-Indonesian connection is important, because of the obvious advantages of utilizing a renewable, indigenous resource, that is not weather dependent.

“A win for the Indonesia geothermal industry is a win for geothermal use everywhere.

“It demonstrates the success, and provides confidence to the public that when managed well geothermal resources can provide reliable sources of energy with little environmental impact or issues.”

Bignall said they intended to maintain close connections with their existing academic and university collaborators and hoped to expand relations to others.

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Source: Jakarta Globe