Indonesia-Malaysia Power Transmission Line Plans Kick-Off

Malaysia and Indonesia can look forward to power-sharing as plans for the interconnecting transmission line are propelled in to action.
Published: Wed 17 Oct 2012

What happened

The initial construction process for the planned Indonesia and Malaysia electricity transmission line project is underway, reports Jakarta Post. According to Indonesian state power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), the project will cost approximately US$2.09mn (Rp20 bn).

Background                                                    

The aim of the project is to connect the two countries’ power grids so that they can share power. Currently, the power exchange between the two countries is a mere 1MW, writes Global Transmission.

The project includes two transmission lines:                            

  • South Sumatra to Malaysian peninsula
  • West Kalimantan to Sarawak   

PLN is currently acquiring land to build the the West Kalimantan-Sarawak transmission line this year. The 122km line, stretching from Bengkayang in West Kalimantan to Mambong in Sarawak, will have a capacity of 275kV which will transfer 50-100MW of power. PLN says that construction will be complete by the end of 2014. After completion of the transmission network, power will be imported from hydro-power plants in Sarawak, explains PLN president director Nur Pamudji.

PLN is in the process of creating a joint venture company to manage the transmission line operation for the South Sumatra-Malaysian peninsula line. Construction of this line will begin next year, according to PLN.

A subsea cable, with the capacity of 250kV high voltage direct current (HVDC) will connect the Sumatra-Malaysia transmission line, which is expected to start operations in 2017.

As part of the plan, Indonesian state-owned coal producer PT Bukit Asam (PTBA), PT PLN and Malaysian electricity utility firm Tenaga Nasional Berhad will build a power plant with a capacity of around 1,000MW in Riau province. Construction will begin next year.

PLN aims to export 100MW of electricity to Malaysia from 2014. So far, PLN has already exported only 1MW of power from Sumatra to Malaysia.

Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has announced that Indonesia aims to start importing around 50 MW for five years from Malaysia. This is in order to curb the use of oil-based fuels in West Kalimantan. Coal is one of the primary fuels in Malaysia’s energy sector.

PLN plans to build coal-fired power plants, with a total capacity of 7,310MW, in Sumatra. Most of these plants will be located in the south. This additional electricity will meet the growing electricity demands of the island, as well as in Java.

There are also plans to build a 4,000MW coal-fired power plant in Batam to supply electricity to Singapore. This will allow Indonesia to use the gas allocation for Singapore, which is currently burned to generate power for domestic consumption.

Both Indonesia and Malaysia attain most of their power through thermal energy sources despite their abundant renewable energy sources.

Last Word                                    

Increased electricity interconnection and trade between Indonesia and Malaysia will enhance economic production, provide capital and improve consumer efficiency. As both countries begin to harness rich renewable energy sources, the interconnection will offer additional benefits such as employment and the reduction in carbon emissions.

Sources

Asian Power-PLN starts Indonesia-Malaysia transmission line project

Global Transmission-Indonesia-Malaysia power trading to start by 2014

New Straits Times-Malaysia, Indonesia to begin power trade in 2014

REEEP-Malaysia (2010)

The Jakarta Post-RI-Malaysia electricity line begins construction

Utilities Network-Indonesian utility begins power transmission line construction