Indonesian PGE geothermal update for Lahendong

Alexander Richter 22 Feb 2009

PGN, geothermal subsidiary of PT Pertamina plans to invest $90 million in geothermal-fired power plants producing 40 megawatts of power in Lahendong, North Sulawesi Province, by 2012.

Reported by Jakarta Globe, Indonesian PGE, “PT Pertamina’s geothermal subsidiary plans to invest US$90 million in geothermal-fired power plants producing 40 megawatts of power in Lahendong, North Sulawesi Province, by 2012, Abadi Poernomo, the president director of PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy, or PGE, said on Friday.

Indonesia is estimated to have access to about 40 percent of the world’s potential geothermal energy at 27,510 megawatts. “We expect the company will drill 12 wells under the Lahendong IV, V and VI projects,” Abadi told reporters in Lahendong. PGE has two plants in the area producing 40MW and another 40MW are nearly online.

Abadi added that for the two planned plants — under the government’s second fast-track project — PGE would not only sell the steam used to move turbines for state power company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara but would also process steam through turbines for its own distribution.

“The price of electricity generated from geothermal energy should be around 7 cents per kilowatt, depending on the region where the plants are,” Abadi said, adding that PGE spends $130 million per year to build new plant and operate existing ones in Lahendong.

PGE has been in talks with several international financial institutions regarding financing for Lahendong V and VI, Abadi said. At the moment, Lahendong I and II only sell power harnessed from steam that is captured near Mount Soputan. To construct a geothermal plant, PGE usually drills about three production wells and one injection well to pump the cooled water back into a reservoir, explained Wawan Darmawan, an engineering manager with PGE.

“That is why geothermal is included as a renewable energy source,” Wawan said.“We maintain a water debit so that heat from the earth core will continue to produce steam. It has low carbon dioxide emissions and the cost is predictable, unlike fossil fuel prices.”

He said the company had also drilled a third well in the Lahendong V project. Half of the electricity capacity created under the government’s fast-track program is expected to come from renewable resources like geothermal.

The country has 256 developable geothermal sites with installed geothermal capacity now up to 1,052 MW. By 2012, the company expects to be producing a total of 120 MW at Lahendong.

Source: Jakarta Globe