Indonesian state-owned utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) formally launched operations at three new coal-fired power plants on Dec. 28. The 625-MW Banten 1 plant in Suralaya, Banten, a $478 million project built by the China National Technical Import and Export Corp. and Indonesia’s state-owned Rekayasa Industri, is expected to consume 2.9 million metric tons of coal annually, with supplies coming from Kalimantan and Sumatra on a 20-year contract. The project was completed in 54.5 months.

The $808.4 million Banten 3 project in Lontar, Banten, has a capacity of 3 x 315 MW and was built by a consortium that included Chinese power equipment giant Dongfang Electric Corp. and Dalle Energy. The two Banten plants are expected to be supported by the completion of a transmission network connecting Labuan, Saketi, and Rangkas Bitung, three cities in Banten province.

In central Java, the government also started up two new 662-MW units at the existing 1,320-MW Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant (Figure 5). The $2.06 billion expansion project was built by Japanese firm Sumitomo Corp., Wasa Mitra Engineering, and Bangladeshi power firm Summit Power Development Ltd. for Sumitomo subsidiary Central Java Power. Toshiba Corp. and Toshiba Plant Systems & Services supplied the turbine and generators, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries supplied the coal-fired boiler, Black and Veatch supplied auxiliary facilities for the boiler, and Mitsui Engineering and Shipbuilding Co. executed civil works. PLN has leased that plant from Central Java Power for 20 years.

5. Javanese giant. Two new 662-MW units were inaugurated in December at Central Java Power’s existing 1,320-MW Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant in Jepara, a coastal village a three-hour drive from Semarang on the Indonesian island of Java. Courtesy: Sumitomo Corp.

The plants’ official inauguration follows the Nov. 3 opening of China Shenhua Energy Co.’s PT.GH EMM INDONESIA Unit 2, a 150-MW unit built adjacent to an existing twin unit at the facility. The new plants are part of the first phase of power shortage–stricken Indonesia’s ambitious plan to fast-track 10,000 MW of new capacity.

Poised for skyrocketing economic growth, Indonesia is seeing a power demand surge of about 9% annually. The country’s power capacity stands at about 30 GW, but in order to avoid rolling blackouts that plagued the country two years ago and secure a 35% reserve margin, Indonesia has planned to add 10,000 MW of new capacity by 2014, most located on the main island of Java. Most new plants in the short term are coal-fired, though several expensive diesel units have been deployed to meet immediate power needs. But analysts have tempered enthusiasm for the country’s ambitious plans because they say several issues could delay plans to add capacity, including land acquisition problems.

Meanwhile, as part of its effort to boost capacity, in late November, the country’s National Nuclear Energy Agency approved plans for construction of the country’s first nuclear power plant in the Tanjung Ular Muntok Cape region, West Bangk, by 2016. The controversial proposal for a nuclear power plant in the quake-prone country had been delayed after the Fukushima accident in Japan in March 2011.

—Sonal Patel is POWER’s senior writer.