Three Companies Assigned to do Geothermal Preliminary Survey
21 August 2013, Jakarta – Three companies received assignment licenses for preliminary survey to develop geothemal potential in a number of location in Indonesia. The three companies are PT Hitay Group, PT Bumi Lesugolo, and PT Energy Kinan Internasional. They received the official assignment to do preliminary survey in Sumatra, East Nusa Tenggara, and Java.

Vice Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Susilo Siswoutomo, said that the development of geothermal potentials in Indonesia, as a new and renewable energy resoources, need to be urgently carried out. 

“In year of 2020, the utilization of new and renewable energy is targeted to reach 22% of total need of national energy. This year we have only managed to reach 6%,” he said in the opening speech in EBTKE Conex in Jakarta Convention Center, Wednesday, 21 August 2013.

The preliminary survey assignment licenses were granted to these three companies that contributed the total investment of 6,9 million US$. If upon the completion of the survey, the project are economically-feasible, and can be granted as working area (WKP), it is expected that this projects can absorp work force up to 800 people. “With the total investment to 2 billion US$,” he said.

PT Hitay Group was assigned to do preliminary survey in South Sumatra Province, West Sumatra Province, Bengkulu and East Java. Meanwhile, PT Bumi Lesugolo will do the survey in East Nusa Tenggara, and PT Energy Kinan Internasional will cover the area of Gunung Galunggung, Tasikmalaya Regency, Town of Tasikmalaya.

So far, there have been many investors who applied for the survey license and geothermal exploration. But only a few recorded progress, among of them are PT Supreme Energy which developed the geothermal potential iin Sumatera, and PT Chevron Geothermal in Mount Salak.

Director of New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, Ridha Mulyana, said that there are some challenges in developing the geothermal projects in Indonesia. Among others is the conflicting regulations among technical ministries. This is not to mention the fact that 15% of the geothermal potential are located within the conservation forest. According to the Forestry Law, any activities outside of forresty is prohibited there,” he said.

Ridha explained that the nature of geothermal exploitation does not harm the environment and forest. On the contrary, a good geothermal potential can only be developed in area which is abundant of water, which is naturally can be found in forest. “So, there is a misconception that geothermal energy negatively effects forest,” he said.

For this reason, his ministry currently undertaking a revision process to the Geothermal Law to be harmonized with the Conservation Forest Law. The revised draft will soon be sent to the parliament after signed by the President. “We heard that President will soon sign the revision draft. And we hope that the discussion in parliament will be done efficiently in just one session, so that we can immediately implement the development of geothermal in Indonesia,” he said.