Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – People in Puncak Regency, Papua Province, now no longer live in darkness as a Micro Hydro Power Plant with a capacity of 2 x 350 kilo Watts (kW) in the regency’s capital of Ilaga has been operational.
The power plant was inaugurated by Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif on Friday (Dec 20), according to a press release received by Indonesia Window here on Friday.
Building a power plant in Ilaga which is located in the central mountain range of Papua is quite a challenge because the area is situated at the highest point in Indonesia and is surrounded by Jayawijaya mountains.
Being at the highest elevation in Indonesia makes Puncak Regency an isolated area. The Ilaga Airport is the only entry and exit gate of the area which can be reached by small-bodied aircraft about 40 minutes from Timika, Mimika Regency.
“The development of micro hydro power plant shows that the government is serious in increasing the public access to electricity and supporting economic growth. With adequate electricity, life in Papua will be better, the economy will run and most importantly, our children can study at night, so that our human resources can be better in the future,” Minister Arifin said.
The construction of the Ilaga Micro Hydro Power Plant is under a multiyear scheme with a contract value of Rp99 billion (about US$ 7,073,623).
The power plant whose resource comes from a water debit of 2 x 800 liters/second using two turbines serves 600 families.
At present the electrification ratio in Papua Province is 94 percent, which is below that of the national level at 98.86 percent
According to the minister, the use of local energy sources to provide electricity in Ilaga which is located in a remote area is the best solution as it is rich in river flow with large water discharge.
Reporting by Indonesia Window