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Sorik Marapi geothermal plant reduces electricity cost in North Sumatra, Indonesia

Sorik Marapi geothermal power plant, North Sumatra/ Indonesia (source: EBTKE)
Alexander Richter 6 Mar 2020

The start of the first phase 45 MW of the Sorik Marapi geothermal power plant by KS Orka in Indonesia, has decreased electricity generation cost for PLN in North Sumatra with potential annual savings of around USD 9 million.

The 45 MW Sorik Marapi PLTP Unit 1 geothermal power plant  has been operating since the end of last year in the Mandailing Natal area of North Sumatra and has the potential to save PT PLN’s around Rp 129 billion per year (around USD 9.2m).

The plant has started feeding the local grid with electricity in September 2019. PLN Regional Sumatra Business Director Wiluyo Kusdwiharto said the geothermal plant has allowed to reduce the cost of production in the northern Sumatra system by around Rp 6.27 per kWh, creating the savings for PLN.

“The Sorik Marapi PLTP project is arguably one of the fastest developments, having been completed in three and a half years. The company successfully completed drilling of 23 wells on 6 drilling sites and connecting the first 45 MW Unit 1,” Wiluyo said

Sorik Marapi PLTP is a national strategic project part of a the 35,000 MW renewable energy target by Indonesia. Development of the Sorik Merapi geothermal plant will continue with unit 2 with a capacity of 45 MW which is targeted to operate by the end of 2020.It is then planned to add Unit 3 with a capacity of 50 MW in 2021, unit 4 with a capacity of 50 MW in 2022 and unit 5 in 2023.

The new and renewable energy project was developed by PT. Sorik Marapi Geothermal Power (SMGP), a geothermal developer and operator company based in Singapore. The majority of its shares or 95% are owned by KS Orka Renewables Pte Ltd.

Meanwhile, Director of Geothermal Directorate General of EBTKE Ida Nuryatin Finahari said that Indonesia was ranked second in the world after the United States related to the use of geothermal energy for electricity.

Developers are encouraged to accelerate the development of PLTP projects.

“Until the end of 2019, Indonesia has produced 2,133 MW of electricity from geothermal resources, the second highest in the world after the US,” she said.

This figure will continue to grow along with the development of the geothermal industry in Indonesia, because the geothermal potential in Indonesia is still very much which is still not fully developed. Renewable energy development is a priority program for the Government of Indonesia to increase the energy mix and reduce dependence on fossil energy.

Some of the geothermal power plant projects planned to start operating this year, besides the addition at Sorik Marapi PLTP, are the Rantau Dedap Unit 1 PLTP project with a capacity of 90 MW in West Sumatra and the PLTP Sokoria Unit 1 & 2 with a capacity of 2 x 5 MW in East Nusa Tenggara.

Source: KataData