Indonesian power supply safe says state utility

4 June 2003 – The director of state-owned electricity company PLN, Eddie Widiono, said he was confident the electricity supply in Java and Bali system was relatively safe.

Recent rotating blackouts have occurred because some power generators unexpectedly broke down in addition to routine maintenance work at some generators, he said, after a meeting of the Heads of Asean Power utility/Authority (Hapua).

The reserve margin of the Java-Bali system is 4500 to 5000 MW or about 28 per cent of total production, which is at 18 000 MW, he said. “Ideally the margin is 30 per cent but 28 per cent is actually relatively safe if operations are under normal condition,” he said.

Widiono however admitted that the country’s electricity supply namely in the Java-Bali system was the second lowest among the Southeast Asian countries after Laos, which has a seven per cent margin.

He said Malaysia had a reserve margin of around 40 per cent, Thailand around 35 per cent and Cambodia even has 60 to 70 per cent.

He said the reserve margin tended to be smaller in the future for efficiency. He said the bigger the reserve the higher the cost would be. “A big reserve is inefficient but a small reserve risks a deficit that my cause blackouts like what happened recently in the Java-Bali system,” he said.