Pertamina aims doubling geothermal generation capacity by 2027-2028

Pertamina aims doubling geothermal generation capacity by 2027-2028 Lahendong geothermal power plant, Indonsia (source: Pertamina Geothermal Energy)
Alexander Richter 25 Apr 2022

PT Pertamina plans to expand its geothermal power generation capacity extensively with new drilling and the use of binary cycle (ORC) technology.

As reported by Reuters today, Indonesian state energy company PT Pertamina has announced plans to double geothermal capacity by 2027-2028 from today around 700 MW. The estimated cost of this investment is around $4 billion. 

The Indonesian government wants to utilize geothermal resources capable of generating more than 28 GW of electricity. Until last year, the country had only reached an installed capacity of 2,276 MW, as per ThinkGeoEnergy’s annual Top 10 listing.

Geothermal energy generation is part of the government’s strategy to increase the proportion of renewable energy in the country’s energy mix from the current 12% to 23% by 2025. Indonesia, currently one of the top ten emitters of greenhouse gases in the world, also aims to achieve net zero emissions by 2060.

The announcement of increasing its geothermal power generation capacity from today 700 MW, came by the company’s CEO Nicke Widyawati during a visit to the Lahendong geothermal field in North Sulawesi today.

To accelerate growth, PT Pertamina plans to build around 210 MW of its target extra capacity by investing in a Binary Organic Rank Cycle (ORC) plants, which can be built quickly at low cost. The plants would reinject brine back into the geothermal reservoir. 

“(Using this technology) we have discovered that saltwater can generate enough heat to generate more electricity,” she said, increasing production from their current geothermal well. “There are only three years left until 2025, and it will take us at least five years to develop it through drilling,” he said, referring to the government’s timeline for increasing renewable energy.

PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy is testing a 500 kW binary generator in the Lahendong sector, which was developed within a year. The generator will be used in other fields as well, said Nicky.

She added that binary plants typically cost up to $2.5 million per installed MW of generation capacity.

With new drilling efforts, Pertamina will add about 500 MW of power generation capacity, which normally costs $5-7 million per megawatt, said Danif Tanusaputro, chief executive of subsidiary Pertamina Power Indonesia.

Nicky said Pertamina is open to partnering with investors in geothermal development. Asked about plans for an initial public offering for the PGE unit, he said the process was “ongoing” without providing further details. We previously reported on the plans for an IPO of PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE).

A cabinet minister in charge of state-owned enterprises (BUMN) previously targeted an IPO in the second quarter of this year. 

Source: Semarak