The Japanese-led Sarulla geothermal independent power producer (IPP) project in Indonesia’s North Sumatra Province has kicked off a second 110-MW unit, according to Japan’s top energy developer, Inpex.
The 330-MW Sarulla project is one of the world’s largest geothermal power generation schemes. The second unit started commercial operations seven months after the first 110-MW unit went online.
Construction work on this scheme started in 2014. When a third 110-MW unit is completed next year, the Sarulla project will generate enough electricity to power 2.1 million Indonesian households, Inpex said last week.
Electricity generated at the Sarulla geothermal power plant is sold to Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), Indonesia’s state-owned electric utility, under a 30-year contract.
Inpex acquired a stake of about 18.25% in the project from Medco Power Indonesia in 2015, marking the Japanese oil and gas developer’s full-scale foray into the geothermal power generation business. Medco Power Indonesia currently owns a stake of about 18.99%.
The Sarulla project also involves three other companies – Japan’s Itochu and Kyushu Electric Power and US-based Ormat Technologies, which hold stakes of 25%, 25% and 12.75% respectively.
The Indonesian government is promoting geothermal power generation projects to boost the nation’s electricity generation capacity and reduce its reliance on petroleum.
Indonesia has the world’s largest geothermal resources, with an estimated potential electricity generation capacity of 29,000 MW, but the bulk of the resources remain untapped. The Indonesian government plans to boost the nation’s installed geothermal power generation capacity to 10,000 MW by 2025.
Inpex said in a statement last week: “As an integrated energy company… Inpex will continue to proactively pursue the ‘reinforcement of its renewable energy initiatives,’ which is one of the growth targets outlined in the company’s Medium- to Long-term Vision.”
Inpex is involved in oil and gas exploration, development and production projects in Indonesian blocks, including the offshore Mahakam block, in which the company has a 50% stake. Inpex is also the operator of the Abadi LNG project in the Masela block.