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Source: Reuters

Indonesia's Pertamina seeks $3 bln for geothermal

Published: 13 Aug 2009 00:59:45 PST

JAKARTA, Aug 13 - A unit of Indonesia's state oil and gas firm Pertamina is seeking about $3 billion in investment to expand geothermal power plants in the Southeast Asian country, a company official said on Thursday.

PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy needs the investment to expand its geothermal capacity to 1,340 megawatts (MW) within five years. The company currently operates geothermal plants in West Java and North Sulawesi, with a combined capacity of 272 MW.

"We estimate loan financing will be between $800 million to $1 billion and some other from our equity. We are in talks with the World Bank on the loan issue," said Adiatma Sardjito, a spokesman for Geothermal Energy.

Sardjito said Geothermal Energy will drill 19 geothermal wells this year and about 16 wells next year.

Indonesia is tapping alternative sources of energy to meet rising power demand and cut consumption of expensive crude oil as its own reserves dwindle.

The vast archipelago, with hundreds of active and extinct volcanoes, has the potential to produce an estimated 27,000 MW of electricity from geothermal sources.

However, that potential remains largely untapped because the high cost of geothermal energy makes the price of electricity generated this way expensive.

Indonesia's state electricity firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the monopoly power supplier in Indonesia, has 25,000 MW of generating capacity but daily output is far less because most of its plants are old and inefficient.

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