Gas Shortage May Lead to Blackouts in Jakarta
State utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara has expressed concern over the supply of gas to its gas-fired power plants in Muara Karang, North Jakarta, prompting fears of possible blackouts in the capital.
Suryadi Mardjoeki, head of the fuel division at PLN, said there was a shortage of gas coming from a floating storage and regasification unit located in a Jakarta bay.
Suryadi said the FSRU, operated by Nusantara Regas, secured liquefied natural gas from Bontang LNG plant in East Kalimantan. Under an agreement signed in early May, the Bontang LNG plant is supposed to ship LNG twice a month — in the first and second week of every month.
Suryadi said that FSRU supplied 140 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of gas to PLN on May 24, the first of its kind. PLN is awaiting the second supply, but Suryadi said PLN was notified that the company would not get the second supply until June 24.
“Nusantara Regas was not consistent with its commitment,” Suryadi said.
Nusantara Regas is 60 percent owned by state oil and gas company Pertamina and 40 percent by Perusahaan Gas Negara, the state gas distribution company.
The government, seeking a more efficient fuel to generate power, has ordered PLN to use gas- and coal-powered plants because diesel is deemed too expensive.
Two new power plants — Muara Karang, with a capacity of 1,500 megawatts, and Tanjung Priok, with a capacity of 1,400 megawatts — are being built to cope with the increased demand. Once fully operational, both plants will be able to handle 320 million cubic feet of gas per day.
PGN has recently announced it had set aside Rp 5 trillion ($528 million) this year to fund the acquisition of gas blocks in an effort to safeguard domestic supplies.