Skip to main content

Indonesia considering closing 3,400MW Suralaya coal plant

December 01, 2020

The Jakarta Post:

The government is considering to shut down the aging Suralaya coal-fired power plant (PLTU) in Cilegon, Banten, and replace it with green energy, as Indonesia chases its long-delayed commitments to cut carbon-dioxide emissions.

The Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry’s freshly appointed renewables director general, Dadan Kusdiana, said on Nov. 16 that his office was conducting an internal study to replace Suralaya with a battery-equipped solar farm (PLTS). Adding batteries to a solar farm makes it more expensive but enables it to provide 24-hour electricity from the sun, which is otherwise an intermittent energy source.

“[Suralaya] is already 35-years-old. We are looking at whether it should be demolished and replaced with a new utility-scale solar farm, with batteries, so there’ll be no intermittency issue,” he told lawmakers at a public hearing in Jakarta.

The 3,400-megawatt Suralaya plant comprises seven units that began operations between 1984 and 1997. The plant, owned by PT Indonesia Power, a subsidiary of state-owned electricity giant PLN, is one of the biggest coal plants in Southeast Asia.

Suralaya is also the biggest among 5,655MW worth of other coal plants over 20-years-old that the energy ministry is planning to replace with green plants in chasing Indonesia’s renewable energy targets.

Furthermore, the coal plant retirement plan also aligned with energy minister Arifin Tasrif’s policy of focusing on solar photovoltaic (PV) over other green energy sources, said Dadan. The country’s renewables power production is currently dominated by hydropower and geothermal. 

[Norman Harsono]

More: Ministry mulls retiring giant Suralaya coal plant, replacing it with solar farm

Join our newsletter

Keep up to date with all the latest from IEEFA