British and Dutch investors eye Indonesia’s ocean current power

Jakarta – Two potential investors from the UK and the Netherlands are eyeing the development of ocean current power plants in Indonesia and have submitted investment proposals, according to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Tuesday (20/9).

Director General of New, Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (EBTKE) Dadan Kusdiana explained that the ocean current power plant that British and Dutch companies are interested in will be built in the Larantuka Sea and Alor Sea in East Nusa Tenggara and in the Bali Strait. The process is currently still being discussed at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment (Kemenkomarves) and PLN.

“There are also (locations) in Riau, but with smaller potential. We are still exploring it,” said Kusdiana in a written statement.

Furthermore, according to him, from several investment proposals received, the government agreed to make a pilot project on a commercial scale. This project is expected to generate 5 – 10 Mega Watt (MW) of electricity. This is so that the electricity power sold is at par with the economic price of the project.

“The government has agreed to have at least one commercial pilot project,” he added.

Kusdiana said that currently there are no electricity generated from ocean currents, since there are a number of obstacles such as technological and financial aspects.

The Center for Research and Development of Marine Geology (P3GL) of the Research and Development Agency at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in 2016 processed current velocity data in a number of potential straits in Indonesian waters.

“Ocean currents are different from ocean waves. Ocean currents are installed on the seabed, like flowing water. The waves float,” said Kusdiana. Large currents are generally around Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT). Its speed ranges from 0.6 to 3.5 meters per second.

Current speeds of more than 2 meters per second are found in the Pantar Strait, Lombok, Toyapakeh, Larantuka, Alas, Molo, Sunda, and Boleng. In general, the tidal type in Indonesian waters is semi-diurnal, which means, in one day there are two high and low tides.

The strongest ocean currents recorded in Indonesia are in the strait between Taliabu Island and Mangole Island in the Sula Islands, North Maluku Province. The speed is 5 meters per second. (Hartatik)

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