Indigenous group gives approval to Supreme Energy project
Supreme Energy received approval from the Rajabasa Indigenous People, Lampung, to conduct exploration and exploitation of geothermal energy in the protected forest areas of Mount Rajabasa South Lampung Regency in Indonesia.
Developer “Supreme Energy received approval from the Rajabasa Indigenous People, Lampung, to conduct exploration and exploitation of geothermal energy in the protected forest areas of Mount Rajabasa South Lampung Regency”, so local news earlier this week.
Activities of the company had been halted because of Rajabasa Indigenous People earlier rejected the activities. They assumed exploration and exploitation will kill their livelihoods and damage the environment.
“The foot print of the geothermal exploitation does not give any bad effect to the environment such as coal mines or oil palm plantations,” said Triharyo Indrawan Susilo, President of Supreme Energy, last week.
He added the company will replace the land area with two-time larger area that has been used for the exploration. If the company is using the forest areas and cut down a 15 acres land full of trees, then the company will plant trees at a 30 hectare-land area.
The total area of forest that will be used for exploration and exploitation of geothermal working area (WKP) is less than 70 acres. “We’ve bought about 40-50 acres of public land. We also bought 15 acres that are located in a protected forest area,” he said.
WKP tender has been won by the Supreme Energy in 2009. They won with the lowest rates at US$0.095 per kWh for the concession for 30 years. PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (Persero) is the single buyer of the geothermal power plant.
The refusal of the public and has not received permission from the ministry of forestry, geothermal power production which will be postponed and will produce at the end of 2016.
The initial steps will be carried out by Supreme Energy after obtaining permission from forestry ministry is exploration. Currently, the company is also doing infrastructure development. The company is still using its own funds before it get a loan from the banks in order to fund the construction.
“It still comes from equity. Banks will fund the plant if there is a proven exploration results and the points are already definite,” he added.
Average wells will be dug to supply the power plant is around 2×110 MW and there are about 18 wells. Triharyo is s targeting a capacity of 13 MW-15MW. Value of the wells is estimated at US$7 million to US$10 million depending on the depth of the pipes. The investment of the power plant is around US$ 700 million.
The ratio of the amount of funding will be divided 40% -60%. The company will bear 40% of exploration and infrastructure payments, while 60% financing for the plant will be handed over to the bank.
Meanwhile, Director General of New and Renewable Energy Conservation at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Rida Mulyana expects permission from the Minister of Forestry will be issued soon. “If the permit is coming out soon, then Supreme could start the exploration,” he said.
He added that the government should also be able to give sense to the public on exploration and exploitation activities. According to him, the refusal was understandable because of the ignorance of information about geothermal activities will not harm the environment.
For Supreme Energy’s geothermal exploration, Rida hopes the Forestry Ministry also responded quickly and will not be unresolved after the company gets the green light from the local people.”