PT Pertamina conducting review of Gunung Lawu geothermal project

PT Pertamina conducting review of Gunung Lawu geothermal project Gunung Lawau, Indonesia (source: Michael Metzger, commons/ wikimedia)
Alexander Richter 6 Jan 2021

Located in protected forests and still lacking a development permit, PT Pertamina is reviewing the potential development of the Gunung Lawau geothermal working area.

PT Pertamina is currently reviewing the fate of the Gunung Lawu Geothermal Working Area (WKP) project which is included in a protected forest area, as reported by Kontan last month. The development of this project is reportedly not yet getting a development permit, and the Corporate Secretary of PGE Mindaryoko said that until now the WKP was still under company review.

“Regarding WKP Gunung Lawu, the status is currently being evaluated,” said Mindaryoko to Kontan before the year end.

However, Mindaryoko still did not provide further details regarding the evaluation carried out.

Separately confirmed, the Director of Geothermal Energy at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ida Finahari Nurhayatin Finahari said that the development of WKP which is included in the nature reserve area is not yet possible under regulations.

“There needs to be coordination with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry. Meanwhile, those who enter cultural heritage are not allowed to do business,” said Ida to, recently.

He continued, his party had not yet received official notification about Pertamina’s plans for the Gunung Lawu WKP. What is clear, he confirmed that there are indeed a number of WKPs located in nature reserves.

The news about the fate of the Gunung Lawu WKP is not new. Previously in 2018, at that time there were two difficulties encountered in the development effort by PGE.

The first difficulty is the existence of ancient sites in the form of temples around the geothermal working area. PGE has difficulty even starting project development such as building road access because it cannot hit the temple foundation.

In addition, PGE still has not received permission from the local government to develop the Mount Lawu geothermal area. The local government has even refused to develop geothermal projects in the region.

The Gunung Lawu project, which covers 60,030 hectares (ha), is included in several districts, namely Karanganyar Regency, Sragen Regency, Wonogiri Regency, Ngawi Regency and Magetan Regency.

As is known, the Gunung Lawu geothermal working area was handed over to PGE in 2016. The Mount Lawu geothermal project itself has an estimated reserve of 165 MW.

Meanwhile, currently PGE is recorded as managing 14 Geothermal Working Areas (WKP) with a total installed capacity of 672 MW. All these areas are operated independently (own operation) by PGE.

A total of 672 MW is spread across PLTP Kamojang in West Java of 235 MW, Lahendong in North Sulawesi (120 MW), Ulubelu in Lampung (220 MW), Sibayak in North Sumatra (12 MW), Karaha in West Java (30 MW) and Lumut Balai in South Sumatra (55 MW).

In addition to the installed capacity which is operated on its own, PGE has 1,205 MW which is run under a joint operation contract (JOC).

In details, three JOCs with Star Energy in Wayang Windu, Darajat and Mount Salak fields, as well as one JOC carried out by Sarulla Operation in Sarulla Field, North Sumatra.

Source: Kontan