Geothermal and water potential energy in Indonesia – the challenge

President Joko Widodo had an ambitious plan of generating additional 35,000 MW of electricity power for current installed capacity of 50,000 MW. This projection is based on the underlying assumption that electricity demand will grow proportionally alongside economic growth, which is assumed as 6-7% per year. The latest Business Plan for Electricity Generation (as translated from RUPTL: Rencana Umum Pengadaan Tenaga Listrik) shows that only around 3,000 MW, or equal to a mere 8% of 35,000 MW target that will be generated from renewable energy sources.

At the end of 2015, delegates on behalf of 195 countries declared their commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emission as a mitigation of climate change. The governments agreed on the need for global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognizing that this will take longer for developing countries [1]. Indonesia was represented by 223 delegates who were committed to the global emissions plan, although as a developing nation the deadline should be exceptionally behind than the developed nations. Nevertheless, local emission reduction plan must be considered as far as mitigation plan is concerned. Indonesia will face difficult situation to fulfill both electricity plan target and the green policy, if it is not planned painstakingly.

A big proportion of current supply comes from fossil energy, which are coal, oil, and gas. Coal accounts for more than half of electricity power plant capacity. In the second place comes natural gas, utilized as gas turbine fuel. Strategy for future power supply seems to put coal as the base load champion, with others such as natural gas, hydro power, geothermal, and new renewable follow subsequently based on the capacity.

The Ministry of Energy has been campaigning natural gas as internal combustion engine fuel, to substitute gasoline and diesel power plant since 1986. The transition process is almost complete now, as the diesel power plant utilization is very low and even on as a peaker only. Indonesia has some potential and proven natural gas resources. Speaking with numbers, Indonesia is on 13th position of the country with the biggest gas reserves, topping others ASEAN nations.


Geothermal energy is energy available in the form of heat contained in the earth crust; main utilization are for electricity generation and district heating. Characteristics of geothermal include: capability to provide base load power; no seasonal variation; immunity from weather effects and climate change impacts; compatibility with both centralized and distributed energy generation; resource availability in all world regions, particularly for direct use. (International Energy Agency).

Indonesia’s geothermal installed power is currently on the second place on the world ranking. Yet, it is less than 5% the geothermal potential that has been exploited [2]. Four largest geothermal location are all located in Java island, the most populated island in Indonesia. Daradjat, Salak, Kamojang, and Wayang Windu geothermal power plants account for 255 MW, 345 MW, 200 MW, and 227 MW installed capacity respectively. However, the exploration result shows bigger potential on Sumatera island. Current operating power plants in Sumatera are Ulubelu, Sibayak, and Sarulla, with 110 MWe, 11.3 Mwe, and 330 MWe rating power respectively. As the second biggest island in Indonesia and densely populated, Sumatera has not fully developed yet, especially in the infrastructure part. Rural residents in Sumatera still face a limitation of electricity access due to lack of power supply and also reliable transmission and distribution. Even the most populated city in Sumatera, Medan still has frequent power outage.

Electricity supply is a prime factor for an economic growth in the specified area. Industries, logistic process, and other trading activities all require electricity power. Construction and operation of power plants need human capital, creating a job market that will foster the economic growth. Education is vital to develop human capital in the area, so ensuring a decent education infrastructure is essential. Many students on rural area in Sumatera are still using traditional lamp to study. A big part of them have not been exposed to the Internet; yet, this leads to lack of information. Development plant for rural area should really consider electricity supply, as the demands of electricity will also increase alongside the economic growth. Ironically, the area which are lacking are the island with rich energy source such as the other islands than Java.

The only impediment for geothermal well development is the interest conflict with forest conservation as almost all of the geothermal well are located on protected forest area. Eventually, several geothermal well drilling project were delayed due to bureaucracy matter. Ministry of Environment and Forestry should work with Ministry of Energy to stop the ineffective license licensing paper works, of which have postponed many projects. Ministry of Environment and Forestry could impose mandatory reforestation action to be done by the project owner, in order to preserving the environment in the future. For example, Pertamina Geothermal Energy sowed fifty thousands of tree seed near Kamojang area in the 2011. The reforestation is vital to maintain ground water deposit, from which steam for power plant is produced.

Second obstacle for geothermal development is the uncertainty of drilling cost, making the financial risk higher than other energy project. The development process of geothermal power plant consists of exploration, production drilling, plant construction, and electricity production. Surprisingly, just exploration and drilling account for 42% of overall projects costs (Jennejohn 2009). This fact makes investor less assured to invest in geothermal energy projects. Without secure financial contract and subsidy, it is challenging to seek for investor for geothermal project.

The project began by exploration process, searching for the hot fluid reservoir which trapped between hot rocks. Proven fluid reservoir location then studied both in geophysics and engineering, in order to determine the trajectory of well will be drilled. After all engineering calculations had been done, the drilling process commenced until one well is ready for production. Meanwhile, the construction of power plant began simultaneously. Other production wells then drilled and tested until the accumulation of power reached the expected value. As the power achieved, the power plant had to be ready for operation to produce elecricity. However, the exploration and drilling process continued to maintain the production capacity of existing wells.

Drilling a geothermal well

The drilling in geothermal is started by drilling a big vertical hole until reaching around 1000 ft depth. After drilling finished, a string of steel casing with smaller diameter than the hole size are inserted into the drilled hole. Right after the casing are successfully inserted, some cement slurry is pumped into the casing hole until it filled the gap between the ground formation and steel casing. While waiting for the cement to dry, next section drilling equipment are prepared. Next section is started all over from drilling the excess cement inside the casing and new hole. The second section hole usually is drilled until 3000 ft depth; however, the trajectory is not vertical anymore but forming a certain degree with earth’s gravitational axis.  Repeated steps are done until 2 or 3 hole sections ahead, of which depth reaching 7000 ft. Actually, the depth depends on the drilling plan of each well, which is based on where the fluid reservoir located. The last step is completion of well; placing a wellhead and controlling equipment on top of the drilled well.

Water power

Water power (hydroelectric power) is a form of potential energy contained in water  which is used to move a turbine. Potential energy difference  exists in two water constituents with height difference. Higher level difference means more power potential. As water is an abundant resource in Indonesia, water power is very promising as an alternative energy. The most challenging obstacles for water power plant are environmental issues and high project cost.

The indirect effect of water power reservoar

Building a dam to contains millions cubic of water is essential. Actually it is the most resource-intensive process of a hydroelectric power plant construction. Hydroelectric acts like the solar and wind power plant, negligible operating cost but high capital cost. However, we would speak the indirect effect of dam construction project to the environment and social.

The area needs for water reservoir is huge, as a power plant needs million of cubic debit. When looking to the indirect effect, it might be a counter productive effect if the reservoir is being built in a rain forest or peat land with high carbon content. The inundation of rain forest lowland could lead to more GHG emission, the methane which is much more stronger than the carbon dioxide itself. The life cycle study and environmental impact consideration become the most challenging part to be taken in to account.

As per RUPTL (literally translated as the Business Plan of Electricity Power Development), water power plant surpasses other renewable sources for now and future installed capacity. The government seems more convenient to be committed in the most mature renewable energy technology, the water power. However, the development of water power plant should be focused on under-developed area like Kalimantan and Papua. The technology for PLTMH (micro hydroelectricity power plant) is easy to access and installed in those area. The massive micro generation plan for remote area implementation could solve the lack of electricity transmission issue amidst the transition of wider implementation in the next 20 years.

The forecast

International Energy Agency forecast electricity demand in 2035 to be dominated by renewable. The usage of fossil fuels for electricity generation is decreasing, except for natural gas. Even though the share of coal in power generation is decreased to 30.72% from 39.91% in 2012, there will be slight increase of coal power generated. Renewable account for 28.72% share on world electricity generation; slightly below is natural gas with 26.15%. Nuclear forecast to only have a tenth of share in world electricity power. “Of the 5.9 trillion kWh of new renewable generation added over the projection period, hydroelectric and wind each account for 1.9 trillion kWh (33%), solar energy for 859 billion kWh (15%), and other renewable (mostly biomass and waste) for 856 billion kWh (14%)” (International Energy Agency , 2016).

Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (as translated from BPPT: Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi) proposed a different scenario for electricity supply. Coal still accounts for more than 50% electricity supply in Indonesia, as the mineral supplies are enormous (BPPT, 2015). Nuclear will not grow until 2030. Renewables will grow significantly, especially geothermal and hydro power as two biggest electricity supplier from renewable energy side. Other renewable like wind, solar, biomass, and tidal energy follow behind with slight growth. The projection shows the optimist plan of geothermal and hydro power plant in the future. While in the present, the development of geothermal well still facing technical difficulties that lead to high cost; and hydro power plant construction sites often intersect with forest conversation site.

Conclusion, geothermal and hydroelectricity power are too good to be true without proper support and clear ambition. Without additional incentive from outside the electricity pricing contract, I am reluctant that these two growing in the next 5 years. Coal is getting cheaper and easier to get.

Hemat Energi – Dimulai dari Rumah 2

#2 dari 15 hari cerita tentang energi. Semoga tulisan ini bisa bermanfaat bagi teman-teman yang sedang belajar tentang energi berkelanjutan.

Setelah bercerita tentang penyejuk udara, di tulisan ini saya akan bercerita tentang salah satu komponen penting yang sering terlupakan yaitu lampu. Dari membaca tulisan ini, pembaca akan mengerti mengapa lampu LED itu disebut lebih hemat dibanding lampu neon ataupun lampu pijar, dan spesifikasi apa yang perlu diperhatikan saat membeli lampu LED. Karena lampu adalah peralatan yang menyala hampir sepanjang waktu dalam setahun, pembaca bisa menghemat sampai dengan 26 ribu rupiah per lampu dari biaya listrik jika memilih lampu penerangan yang tepat. Tentunya dengan menghemat daya listrik melalui peralatan yang lebih efisien, kamu bisa membantu mengurangi emisi karbon yang tidak diperlukan!

Sedikit cerita mengenai teknologi LED. LED adalah singkatan dari Light Emitting Diode yang menjelaskan dengan lengkap bagaimana cahaya bisa dihasilkan, dioda atau material semikonduktor tertentu akan memancarkan cahaya ketika dialiri listrik. Efek tersebut dinamakan efek elektroluminensi, berbeda dengan lampu pijar yang bekerja karena prinsip cahaya pijar dari benda yang bertemperatur tinggi. Teknologi ini lebih efisien karena energi listrik yang dibutuhkan tidak sebesar teknologi pendahulu sebelumnya (lampu pijar, lampu halogen, lampu fluoresens) untuk menghasilkan cahaya dalam jumlah yang sama. Ilustrasi di bawah menggambarkan perbandingan efisiensi setiap jenis lampu:

  • Beam angle: sudut yang dihasilkan pancaran cahaya, semakin besar artinya area yang disinari semakin besar. Pastikan anda memilih sudut yang tepat sesuai kegunaan anda.
  • Life time: umur ketahanan lampur secara material, biasanya untuk lampu LED sampai 15000 jam.
  • Intensitas cahaya, diukur dalam Lumens: seberapa terang cahaya yang dihasilkan. Semakin terang, energi listrik yang dibutuhkan juga semakin besar.
  • Energi yang digunakan: diukur dalam satuan watt, yaitu daya listrik yang dibutuhkan.
  • Jenis cahaya, diukur dalam satuan Kelvin. Hangat kekuningan, atau putih dingin. Penjelasan mengenai perbedaan temperatur cahaya dan intensitas cahaya ada di bawah.

Dari grafik perbandingan diatas, dapat disimpulkan bahwa lampu teknologi LED lebih hemat dibandingkan dengan lampu lainnya. Gambaran simpelnya seperti ini:

Joko sebelumnya menggunakan lampu fluorescent 12 Watt untuk menerangi lampu kamarnya karena dia butuh sumber lampu yang terang untuk kegiatan belajar. Namun jika dia menggunakan lampu LED, dia hanya butuh lampu LED 10 Watt untuk memberikan jumlah terang yang sama. Artinya, secara tidak langsung LED bisa dikatakan “lebih hemat” energi.

Temperatur cahaya vs intensitas cahaya


Kelvin atau temperatur dapat dilihat di kemasan suat lampu LED. Untuk keperluan rumah tangga biasanya berjenis cool daylight atau 6,500 K. Sesuai ilustrasi diatas, karakter yang diberikan 6,500 K adalah yang sejuk dan lumayan terang. Karakter lampu ini dapat ditemukan di perumahan, pergudangan, dan aplikasi umum lainnya. Sedangkan karakter lampu di netral adalah cahaya yang terkesan netral dan terang yang dapat kamu temukan di rumah sakit. Cahaya karakter hanget di rentang 2,000 K cocok untuk kafe-kafe dan kamar tidur yang memberikan efek menenangkan dan rileks.

Lumens vs Candela – mana yang digunakan?

Saat kita belajar Fisika saat SMP dulu kita mengenal satuan Candela untuk melambangkan intensitas cahaya. Kenapa untuk lampu kita menggunakan lumens?

Rumus: 1 lm = 1 cd ⋅ sr.

1 Candela mewakili jumlah lumens yang dipancarakan dalam satu ruang steradian.

Satu unit steradian solid akan mengandung: 1 cd × 4π sr = 4π cd⋅sr ≈ 12.57 lumens

Karena lumens lebih representatif untuk menggambarkan intensitas cahaya yang dikeluarkan lampu, maka satuan tersebut digunakan dalam industri lampu.

Penghematan dan kontribusi ke lingkungan

Seperti peralatan listrik lainnya, lampu dapat berkontribusi ke penghematan biaya rutin untuk listrik dan juga memotong emisi karbon ke lingkungan. Cabang energi berkelanjutan satu ini biasa disebut ranting efisiensi energi atau energy efficiency yang juga mencakup: efisiensi rumah, efisiensi pembangkit listrik, efisiensi transmisi listri, efisiensi teknologi pembakaran pada kendaraan, dan semua efisiensi lain yang bisa dilakukan pada teknologi yang kita gunakan saat ini. Memang secara skala akan kelihatan kecil dibandingkan teknologi pembangkit terbarukan seperti PLTB yang dapat mencegah pembakaran batu bara untuk menghasilkan listrik namun cabang ini tetap perlu dilakukan dengan semangat continuous improvement yang manfaat baiknya banyak sekali.

Jika di rumah kamu ada 5 lampu untuk menerangi ruangan, kamu bisa menghemat 10 watt dengan mengganti lampu teknologi CFL ke LED. Apalagi kalau masih menggunakan lampu pijar, walaupun cuman untuk toilet atau kamar mandi tapi penghematan bisa sampai 20 watt loh! Secara hitung-hitungan, dengan menghemat 10 watt kamu bisa menghemat 65 ribu rupiah setahun. Memang kecil, tapi kumpulan efisiensi yang dilakukan di masing-masing rumah tangga akan sangat bermanfaat untuk menghemat daya yang perlu dibangkitkan dengan membakar batu bara atau lainnya.

Semoga bermanfaat!

Hemat Energi – Dimulai dari Rumah

#1 out of 15 hari cerita energi. Saya memutuskan untuk ikutan challenge ini, walaupun sudah lewat jauh karena kompetisi ini sudah selesai di 2018. Tapi semoga tulisan ini bisa bermanfaat bagi teman-teman yang sedang belajar tentang energi berkelanjutan.

Bagaimana kamu bisa berkontribusi untuk menjaga emisi karbon ke atmosfir? Pada dasarnya kita semua bisa berkontribusi! Dalam tulisan saya yang pertama ini, saya ingin membawa topik efisiensi energi dalam konteks yang sangat relevan dengan kehidupan sehari-hari agar kita bisa mulai mempraktekkannya. Energy efficiency is the first fuel of a sustainable global energy system – International Energy Agency

Berhubung negara kita beriklim tropis, artinya cenderung lembab dan panas sepanjang tahun dan kebutuhan terhadap elektronik Air Conditioning atau AC sudah menjadi primer. Jika kalian punya piranti ini di rumah, coba disimak sebentar artikel ini. Kalaupun belum, saya harap artikel singkat ini dapat membantu nanti saat kalian akan membeli piranti ini. Apabila kalian semua membeli piranti pengkondisian udara (air conditioning), kalian akan menjumpai label yang ditempel seperti gambar di samping.


Apa itu EER? EER adalah energy efficiency rating. Nilai ini menunjukkan seberapa efisien piranti tersebut dalam bekerja, untuk piranti AC: seberapa kalor yang dapat dipindahkan dengan daya elektrik yang diberikan. Mengapa EER ini penting?

EER merupakan mekanisme yang mirip seperti energy labeling di EU, dimana semua peralatan elektronik wajib memenuhi rating energy label sebelum dapat dijual umum. Jadi selain harga peralatan tersebut, energy label menunjukkan seberapa hemat energi/berapa daya listrik yang dibutuhkan untuk memberikan manfaat alat tersebut bekerja. Kita sebagai konsumen yang menggunakan piranti tersebut tentunya butuh informasi ini, karena pilihan kita terhadap alat mana yang kita akan beli dan gunakan akan berkontribusi nantinya ke jumlah listrik yang digunakan – efeknya langsung ke tagihan listrik yang akan kita bayar ke PLN dan juga secara tidak langsung emisi karbon yang dihasilkan sepanjang umur peralatan tersebut beroperasi. Sebagai konsumen yang kritis dan peduli, tentunya kita bisa memindai mana piranti yang ramah lingkungan dari label tersebut.

Jika ditulis dalam rumus: EER= BTU/W

Contoh AC saya (tipe TECO 380 W):

Spesifikasi Daya 380 W, kapasitas ½ PK. ½ PK ≈ 5,000 Btu/jam

EER= (5,000 Btu/h)/(380 W)=13.15 Btu/Wh

Berapa biaya yang dihemat?

1.Contoh kasus jika kita tidak cermat dalam memilih kapasitas pendinginan, kita memilih 1 PK dengan alasan agar lebih dingin nantinya.

Asumsi 1 PK = 9,000 Btu/jam
W= 9,000/13=690 watt

Anggap AC dinyalakan 12 jam sehari untuk tidur, dinyalakan 365 hari setahun:

kWh=(690-380)watt×12 jam × (365 hari)/tahun=1,357 kWh per tahun
Tarif 1,400 per kWh

Tambahan biaya =(Rp.1,400)/kWh×(1,357 kWh)/tahun=Rp.1,900,000 per tahun

Emisi karbon tambahan=(0.75 kg)/kWh×(1,357 kWh)/tahun=1,017 kg/tahun

2.Contoh kasus kita memilih AC dengan PK yang sama namun dengan EER yang lebih rendah. Saya tidak akan sebut contoh merek tapi anggap saja EER nya adalah 9.

EER1= 10.7
EER2= 9

Untuk bekerja mendinginkan 5,000 Btu per jam selisih daya yang diperlukan adalah:

W1=(5,000 Btu/h)/(10.7 Btu/Wh)=467 watt
W2=(5,000 Btu/h)/(9 Btu/Wh)=555 w

∆P=(555-467)watt×12jam/hari×365 hari/tahun= 385 kWh/tahun
Tambahan= (Rp.1,400)/kWh×(385 kWh)/tahun=Rp.539,000 per tahun

COP – Coefficient of Performance

COP merupakan parameter juga yang menggambarkan seberapa hemat penggunaan energi dari suatu AC.  Konsepnya sama seperti EER, jadi saya tidak akan bahas lebih lanjut disini.

AC Inverter?

Teknologi inverter berhubungan erat dengan kompresor pada sistem AC split. Kompresor adalah alat vital yang membutuhkan paling banyak energid alam operasionalnya. Kompresor berperan untuk menekan refrigeran (yang biasa dikenal sebagai freon) agar efek mendinginkan bisa didapatkan. Bagi pembaca non-teknik, proses pendinginan terjadi saat refrigerant dalam bentuk cair menyerap kalor dalam unit AC split – akibatnya ruangan dingin karena temperatur turun. Setelah menyerap kalor, refrigeran akan berubah fasa menjadi gas yang kemudian ditekan oleh compressor ke unit outdoor AC untuk melepas kalor melalui bantuan kipas. Siklus terus berulang.

Teknologi inverter memungkinkan kompresor untuk bekerja dalam putaran yang disesuaikan dengan kebutuhan. Saat temperature sudah konstan, sensor akan mendeteksi dan mengirim sinyal ke compressor untuk bekerja lebih lambat dengan daya yang lebih sedikit. Teknologi yang lain adalah AC non-inverter yang beroperasi dengan kecepatan konstan sehingga daya listrik juga konstan.

Teknologi AC inverter mendukung penghematan energi karena daya akan disesuaikan dengan daya pendinginan yang dibutuhkan. Walaupun investasi biaya di awal lebih mahal karena teknologi yang lebih rumit disbanding non-inverter, sangat perlu diperhatikan manfaat penghematan dari segi biaya dan emisi karbon yang dihemat.

  • Pilihlah piranti elektronik dengan EER tinggi, selain menghemat biaya, kamu juga mengurangi emisi karbon dioksida yang dihasilkan selama operasional alat tersebut.
  • Dukung kegiatan ini untuk mendukung industri manufaktur kita menuju kesadaran terhadap lingkungan dan energi.
  • Peran kita sebagai konsumen atau pengguna adalah memilih peralatan atau piranti yang sesuai dengan kebutuhan dan juga ramah lingkungan dalam operasionalnya.

Sekian cerita dari saya, semoga bermanfaat. Salam energi berkelanjutan!

Talking about Biogas and the Palm Oil Industry in Indonesia

This picture was taken around June 2019. Are you familiar with the round shaped object that I was observing? 

It is called a lagoon, covering thousands cubic of methane from the anaerobic process of POME (Palm Oil Mill Effluent) – wastewater from the palm fruit processing. After some time on the lagoon, the mixture of the waste and bacteria digestion produces methane, carbon dioxide, and hydrogen sulfide through an absence of oxygen chemical reaction. It is one of the waste-to-energy concepts, with an objective to reduce harmful substance of waste from the industrial process by changing it into less environmental damaging and producing energy. 

Less than 10%1 of around 800 palm oil mills in Indonesia utilized this waste to energy technology. It means this waste-to-energy is not a popular one, for now. The hype on coal power alternative in Indonesia was still dominated by the natural gas power, hydro, and even wind. Aiming on the equal island development, this technology might be worth of full deployment in the island of Sumatera, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. On the island of palm oil, this technology could solve:

  1. Waste problem from the biggest “exported commodity product” of Indonesia.
  2. Scarce of electricity in remote area, whereby transmission and distribution infrastructure are still absent.
  3. Increase the awareness of palm oil industry to move forward on more responsible palm oil business.
  4. Create more jobs on the power generation sectors.

Giving you a bit of contextualization, some palm oil mill can have up to 2 x 1 MW of biogas engine. It produces on around 80% load, capable of powering the whole mill operation. Only challenge is the fluctuated load during the day because unlike coal power plant, palm oil mill does not operate 24 hours.

One of the challenges is the high production cost producing electricity. Data from2 mentioned on the high operation cost, engine maintenance takes 39% of overall operation cost surpassing the labor and digester maintenance itself. The maintenance in biogas is a bit more complicated than the natural gas power plant. Biogas contain unwanted H2S which gives the high acidity; hence it is called the sour gas. Sour gas is highly oxidative and corrosive which make the technology needs specific characteristic of engine. On the maintenance point of view, a lubricant that has superior oxidative and corrosive resistance is vital to ensure the engine reliability. That is why biogas engine needs specific lubricant.

How can policy affect?

Starting from the current condition and wish on the vast and rapid deployment, what support are needed? Incentive. This is what keep investor interested and willing to invest.

  1. Carbon credit

The certificate of right to produce certain amount of carbon emission for their activity, which is gained from other party through a trading mechanism. Example:

The concept of Clean Development Mechanism, one of the mechanisms under Kyoto Protocol. It is ensuring the Annex country which had an emission target to purchase carbon credit from non-Annex countries (Indonesia is on the list as developing country). The form of CDM is any project results on the emission reduction: biomass, energy efficiency, renewable power generation, waste-to-energy, and transportation. The purpose of the concept was effective to boost the acceleration of lower emission technology deployment, some of the case in Indonesia: Sarulla geothermal power plant (330 MW), Kalimantan peat land carbon storage and sequestration, and of it is the palm oil waste to energy projects.

Example case:

Australia as one of the Annex I country had a binding emission targets of 1,000 tonnes of carbon emission. However, they can emit 1,500 tonnes of carbon, by purchasing 500 tonnes worth of credit from Indonesia. Indonesia itself, generate this credit by conserving peatland and tropical forest in Kalimantan which prevented 500 tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere, which can happen due to the illegal land use and fire. Then, Indonesia get currency as the return which can be used for funding the conservation project and incentivize other green technology.

It is interesting on the carbon emission trading market and how we are expecting a 2024 ready market, maybe I will write a specific topic on the carbon market.

  1. PPA (Power Purchase Agreement)

The PPA is vital in the case of bigger investment decision, where the installed capacity exceed the demand from in-situ electricity demand. The excess, if possible then fed into the PLN grid. Investor needs to secure an acceptable price within some period of project, to ensure their project is giving desired return on investment. This PPA has been long discussion between PLN and Biogas power investor, as reaching mutual interest acceptability seemed difficult.


*ESDM Regulation 12/2017 Article 5 sentence 3 declares the maximum tariff of bought price for alternative energy power plant. For biogas powered gas engine, it is 85% from the regional cost of electricity production.

*ESDM Regulation 50/2017 about the production cost of electricity.

There is soon a presidential decree to regulate the feed in tariff based on the generation. This would give a bright light to the deployment of alternative and clean energy investment in Indonesia, with the aim to put specific effort and tariff to value the investment and incentive based on the technology, and the area. It is understood that investing in Papua is riskier than Java in term of infrastructure and cost. It is interesting to see how the biogas generation technology and deployment could speed up in the next 5 years.




BP Energy Statistical Review 2017

Last Tuesday, 13 June 2017 I had an opportunity to attend the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2017 launching in BP office in London. I am always interested in reading either BP’s energy outlook or statistical review every year, merely based on my curiosity on how the big fossil fuel players see their business in the future. Compared to a neutral organization like Bloomberg or International Energy Agency, there are some distinct points on big energy* companies’ energy outlook seeing the market share of fossil fuel in the future. They tend to overlook the share of fossil fuel in the future primary energy supply, prefer to underestimate the growth of renewable and alternative energy source other than fossil fuel. Starting from the fact that nobody can predict the future with their outlook, the move makes very sensible motives of the big energy company to favor the optimism of big fossil fuel share since that is the value of their business. The outlook might ensure their stakeholders that everything in the business is still good at least until next twenty years, as most outlook now predict the condition in 2040.

*Now the big oil companies tend to call themselves by energy company in order to remove the trademark of fossil fuel producer, even though the majority of their portfolio is still in oil and gas industry.

The opening speech was done by Lamar McKay, one of BP Deputy Group Chief Executive. He emphasized on the declining coal usage in power industry, the stagnation of carbon emission, and the strategy to achieve the emission commitment as declared in COP20 at Paris. Shortly, he also mentioned briefly about BP’s strategy on surviving the energy industry by altering their upstream investment in the gas field and strengthening their presence in the downstream industry as lube producers. Especially, he mentioned about six from seven major projects in upstream sector are gas field drilling to justify their strategy on prioritizing gas-related investment. Natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel compared to the others, especially coal as it emits around two times carbon than natural gas. Most people believed that natural gas is the bridge fuel for the transition from fossil fuel dominated power sector into the renewable energy powered.

The main talk was delivered by Spencer Dale, the chief economist of BP. Two main points that he emphasised were the short run adjustment and long run transition of world energy. Some issues in energy that he talked about are the resilience of tight oil that play an important part in the oil market and the unwillingness of OPEC to cut production in November 2014 when oil price started to crash. OPEC’s power to handle the market crash seemed unapparent, so the result of the event was the permanent shock and the long-term structural imbalance of the oil market. OPEC can do temporary adjustment to the stock of oil in order to stabilize the market. But no one knows what will be the stability price of oil in the next 5 or 10 years.

Natural gas, despite the expected prospect as new fuel to replace coal in power generation showed positive but slow growth. The number of gas trade through long-term contract decreased, as more short-term and small size contract became more prevalent. Added by prospect of LNG and USA shale gas capacity, gas market is expected to grow more competitive where LNG might plays an important part.

Renewables will only contributing up to 4% of primary energy supply despite its unexpected fast growth in power generation sectors due to falling cost of solar and wind energy. However, the variability of renewable power still very dependable on weather condition in the location which makes it less reliable to provide big share in the power supply. There was a question during the Q&A session that argued that the lack of renewable growth is in implication of not high enough carbon tax. It is still debatable about renewables, about what can drive more renewables penetrating the energy market. Spencer opined that price will be the deciding factor, and the way you drive the prices are numerous. However, which one will be effective is still debatable.

It was such a valuable experience for me, being the students amongst all professional with suits from a different background. Some are market analyst and trader, some are consultants, and some come from academics. The presence of fossil fuel industry is unexpectedly still very prominent in the energy industry, hence I am curious and excited for the energy industry transition that may happen in the near future.

Aplikasi Visa Student UK Tier 4 Ternyata Mudah

Grup pre-departure UK mendadak ramai sekitar bulan Mei – Juli, sekitar 3 bulan menjelang Fall semester intake dari hampir semua universitas di UK. Aplikasi visa student UK seolah momok yang lebih menakutkan dibandingkan seleksi wawancara LPDP. Beberapa calon pelajar bisa tenang dan bersantai karena menggunakan jasa pengurusan aplikasi visa yang ditawarkan agen pendidikan terkenal seperti SUN, IBEC, atau IDP. Namun bagi yang mengurus sendiri dan first timer aplikasi visa UK, rasa takut gagal pasti ada mengingat biaya aplikasi yang relatif mahal dibanding visa ke negara lain. Saya ingin berbagi pengalaman saya mengajukan aplikasi visa PBS Tier 4 Student tanpa menggunakan kartu kredit untuk pembayaran online namun menggunakan kartu debit.

Perkenalan singkat, saya Ronald Sukianto merupakan salah satu awardee Beasiswa Pendidikan Indonesia LPDP PK-66 Laskar Dewantara yang akan melanjutkan studi tingkat magister di Sustainable Energy Futures, Imperial College London. Share mengenai aplikasi postgraduate di ICL dapat dilihat di Aplikasi Taught MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures, Imperial College London.

Dokumen yang dapat dipersiapkan

Dokumen terpenting yang perlu didapatkan adalah CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance Study). ICL hanya akan menerbitkan CAS paling cepat 3 bulan sebelum official course starting date dari program studi kita. Misalkan saya di SEF, dimulai tanggal 1 Oktober 2016 maka CAS diterbitkan tanggal 5 Juli 2016. Sambil menunggu CAS, dokumen yang dapat dipersiapkan:

  1. Sertifikat bebas TBC dari RS Premier (Jakarta, Surabaya, atau Bali) yang berlaku 6 bulan dari tanggal tes. Tata cara Tes Bebas TBC di RS Premier Jatinegara.
  2. Terjemahan KK dan akta lahir yang dikeluarkan oleh Sworn Translator yang diakui oleh British Embassy. Daftarnya dapat dilihat di fadfafa . Saya pribadi menggunakan jasa penerjemah Tjan Sie Tek, hasilnya memuaskan.
  3. Paspor yang masih berlaku.
  4. Ijazah dan transkrip akademik pendidikan sebelumnya dalam bahasa Inggris (tidak perlu diterjemahkan oleh sworn translator).

Dokumen yang tidak wajib tapi boleh disiapkan:

  • Pas foto berlatar belakang putih, mulai 2016 foto dilakukan saat sesi pengambilan BRP sehingga tidak perlu membawa pas foto lagi.
  • Sertifikat IELTS, karena biasanya pihak kampus memberi keterangan dalam CAS bahwa kemampuan bahasa Inggris kita sudah di assess sesuai kriteria mereka. IELTS tidak wajib namun boleh saja dibawa saat appointment visa.
  • ATAS bagi yang wajib melampirkan, kebetulan jurusan saya tidak membutuhkan ATAS.
  • KTP tidak perlu dibuat terjemahan.
  • Kartu kredit untuk membayar aplikasi visa dan asuransi kesehatan. Saya bukan pengguna kartu kredit, saya tetap bisa membayar menggunakan kartu debit.
  • Booking flight ticket . Saya tidak menyiapkan ini, nyatanya aplikasi visa tetap sukses.

Bagi awardee beasiswa dokumen yang perlu dipersiapkan adalah Letter of Guarantee (LoG)atau Letter of Scholarship (LoS) yang memeberikan jaminan sponsor pembiayaan perkuliahan kita selama di UK. Awardee LPDP dapat menggunakan LoG maupun LoS, namun saya pribadi menggunakan LoG.

Online Application VFS Global

Aplikasi visa UK bisa dilakukan di Setelah mendaftar, segera isi form mengenai detail paspor dan data diri. Progress aplikasi dapat di save sehingga bisa dilanjutkan kapan pun kita mau. Poin-poin dalam pengisian yang perlu diperhatikan:

  •  Nama lengkap dan nomor paspor harus sesuai dengan CAS.
  • Starting and end date course harus sesuai dengan CAS.
  • Tipe visa Tier 4 General (Sponsored) jika kita dibiayai oleh beasiswa, dalam kasus saya beasiswa LPDP. Namun pengalaman teman-teman penerima beasiswa LPDP yang memilih tipe visa Tier 4 General juga di-granted visa nya.
  • Masukan detail visa yang pernah didapat dan negara yang pernah dikunjungi. Paspor lama saya yang sudah dimusnahkan pihak imigrasi tetap saya tulis di aplikasi namun saya pilih “not in possession” sehingga saya tidak perlu membawa paspor lama, hanya paspor terbaru yang saya bawa.
  • Masukan lokasi pengambilan BRP setelah sampai di UK dengan benar karena BRP kita harus diambil dalam jangka waktu tertentu di tempat yang telah kita pilih. Saya memilih lokasi pengambilan BRP di Imperial College London sesuai petunjuk.
  • Tier 4 sponsor diisi dengan pihak kampus yang mengeluarkan CAS kita, dalam kasus saya Imperial College London.
  • Official financial sponsor diisi dengan lembaga yang membiayai studi kita, dalam kasus saya Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education.

Kartu debit – Virtual Credit Card

Saya menggunakan fitur Virtual Credit Card dari BNI, biasa disebut BNI Debit Online. Saya adalah pemegang kartu debit Mastercard dari BNI Taplus Muda. Kita dapat membuat kartu kredit virtual dengan memanfaatkan fitur sms banking. Prinsipnya VCC adalah kartu kredit virtual yang memiliki nomor unik yang dapat digunakan untuk melakukan pembayaran layaknya kartu kredit pada umumnya. Namun setelah pembayaran dilakukan, biaya akan langsung didebet dari rekening anda seperti layaknya transaksi menggunakan kartu debit. Setiap kita melakukan request pembuatan VCC, kita diminta memasukan nominal uang yang dijadikan limit transaksi kartu kredit virtual kita. VCC ini relatif lebih aman dibanding kartu kredit konvensional karena nomor kartu yang sekali pakai sehingga lebih aman dari ancaman carding.

Contoh jika menggunakan SMS banking BNI:

Ketik REQ(spasi)VCN(spasi)5000000 artinya kita meminta dibuatkan kartu kredit virtual dengan limit transaksi lima juta rupiah.

Berikut gambaran proses request VCN:


*Hati-hati dengan informasi nomor kartu (16 digit) dan verification code (3 digit) serta masa berlaku kartu. Dengan tiga informasi itu, siapapun dapat melakukan pembayaran online asalkan memasukkan data tersebut dengan tepat. Jaga agar informasi tidak diketahui orang lain.

Jika limit kartu debit hanya 10 juta rupiah, pembayaran IHS dan aplikasi visa tidak bisa dibayarkan langsung. Lakukan pembayaran IHS terlebih dahulu sekitar jam 11 menjelang tengah malam, kemudian setelah hari berganti baru lakukan pembayaran aplikasi visa. Jika limit kartu debit belum di-reset maka VCC tidak akan bisa digunakan. Pengalaman saya IHS membutuhkan biaya 342 USD (4.579.397 IDR) dan aplikasi visa 499 USD (6.681.635 IDR). Keduanya saya lakukan pada tanggal 5 Juli dan 6 Juli 2016. Kurs VCC sedikit diatas kurs jual bank BNI, mungkin selisih kurs tersebut yang menjadi keuntungan bank maka dari itu tidak ada biaya untuk penggunaan BNI debit online.

Lolos tanpa Wawancara bukan sekadar Mitos

Saya tidak mengikuti tahapan wawancara karena jam appointment saya jam setengah delapan pagi sehingga interviewer belum tersedia untuk wawancara. Petugas VFS membebaskan saya untuk melakukan wawancara yang bisa dilakukan mulai jam 12 siang, namun tidak diwajibkan. Saya memutuskan untuk tidak mengikuti wawancara karena menurut petugas, wawancara tidak menentukan lolos tidaknya aplikasi visa namun kelengkapan dokumenlah yang lebih penting. Nyatanya aplikasi visa saya sukses tanpa wawancara, ternyata perkataan mbak-mbak VFS benar loh! Total waktu proses visa saya adalah 11 hari kerja, dimulai tanggal 8 Juli 2016 dan selesai tanggal 25 Juli 2016.


Semoga cerita saya bermanfaat untuk teman-teman yang ingin mengajukan visa Tier 4 UK. Semua bisa dilakukan sendiri tanpa bantuan biro jasa atau lembaga pendidikan. Lumayan kan biaya biro jasa yang ratusan ribu rupiah. Nyatanya saya tidak dipersulit kok selama dokumen kita lengkap dan mengikuti aturan yang benar. Good luck!

Jakarta, 26 Juli 2016


What I learned from working in an oil and gas service company

I used to dream about working in an oil and gas company during college years. Firstly, oil and gas industry statistically gives the highest amount of salary for fresh graduate engineers. Secondly, oil and gas company offers enticing employee training program that mostly overseas. Lastly, I thought that I can apply my knowledge gained from engineering course into the real industry. In conclusion, oil and gas offers a very competitive package and growth stimulating yet challenging work environment. A dream job for almost all engineering students.

Joining in ‘not so good’ time for the industry

I joined a renowned oil and gas service company. It is said as a second biggest service company in the world, as known as the Reds. The Reds once tried to merged with a fellow American oil service company, but in 2016 the merger plan fell through. You may guess which company I am talking about.

It was kind of sad on my early year there. November 2014 should be commemorate as my first month, but more remembered as the month when oil price stumbled. The downward trends continued further until oil price reaching the lowest in 20 years, followed by slowdown in the industry that leads to mass lay-offs. I consider myself lucky to enter the industry right before it stumbled. I get to know much about the industry which I know nothing about before. What a lucky coincidence… What an unfortunate scenario…

What salary can get you

People works for a myriad of purposes. Some works so they can eat for the day, while the others works to fulfill their lifestyle. As a young adult who just entered the real life, those are the things I can observed on.

I was excited when earning my first salary. The excitement then continue to reappear once a month on payment day. Truthfully, it was the only things that keep me doing my job. Working in a drilling rig is harsh. Remote area, high working hour, laborous works, high social pressure, high client pressure are several hardships of working in the drilling field. Beyond that, the compensation payment in oil and gas service company is rewarding. Uncle Ben once said that with great salary comes great responsibility. That is why salary sometimes said as a compensation benefit, meaning to compensate all of your hardship you’ve endured on that month. In the oil and gas service industry, you must prepared to sacrifice some of your life including your time with your family.

I met a lot of people. Some had a price tag of $911 a day, where others labouring to earn $400 a month. Some people have to climb the career stairs by drudging in the rig floor, flexing their body muscle connecting drill pipes for 5 years so they can be a driller or toolpusher. Some people by their privilege does not need to pass through the labouring and physical works. They are the engineers who graduate from university, I belong to this group.

I saw the difference between the $911 a day and $ 500 a month man, their lifestyle. Apart from the lifestyle they pursue, there was nothing significant. I notice most man pursue their lifestyle based on their salary. Higher salary means more sumptuous lifestlye. The 500 dollars man are living modestly with proper life standard. They satisfied with their life. In the contrary, 911 dollars man tend to live happier but with great dissatisfaction. In a rare case, I found some of them did not really enjoy the life. They keep chasing more money to get, no matter how much they already had. Surely he can live a humble life with the money, but it is not the usual case.

I used to think that having much money will lead to happiness, but now it seems to be invalid. Our satisfaction of life merely based on how high we set our lifestyle.

* Thank you for all people I met on the rig site, I learned much about life from you guys.

It was such a small world, the oil and gas industry

Oil and gas industry is small, workers have very specific skills here. Turn over rate is high in the industry, so you may meet your ex co-workers in other company in the future. It is important to keep good relations with all people in such a small industry. I am not an amiable people, it is difficult for me to engage with new people. However in the industry, I was forced to meet and working together with new people. Some of them were hard to handle with, but fortunately I met more good people back there. Works with an annoying and bossy person is such a pain in the ass, because our work environment is very small and restricted. Becoming a nice co-worker is very important in oil service company. We have enough stress from the environment, we want no more addition of irritating co-worker. At least be nice in the work site even if you cannot be nice outside works.

The conclusions

Working in oil and gas service company is very demanding, that is why they pay you hefty salary. I believe salary will equal to your compensation you deserve on the job. If you decide to starting a career in the industry, you have to be ready to survive in a volatile and specific industry. On a bad business time, many laid-off employee have struggled to get a job. When the demand of oil and gas decreasing, the demand of oil service workers also diminshed. That means oil service workers more likely to be affected badly than oil company employees.

For fresh graduate engineer pursuing the career in the job because of the high salary and expecting an easy job, I advise you to reconsider your choice. Please do not see a career merely based on how much it pays you. The job is very demanding, both physically and mentally. Mostly you may miss important dates for your family and countless holidays. On the other side, you have unlimited freedom on your days off.


Many thanks for my former employer for such a worthful experience for 1 year and 8 months. For all my work colleagues and friends, I wish you all good luck and prosperity. May we see in other opportunity in the future. 

Best regards,



For anyone who may perceived my post as a discouraging one, I do not intent to discourage anyone to pursue the career in oil service company. I am writing truthfully as an ex oil service worker. I strongly encourage anyone who fits in the work ethics and lifestyle of oil service worker to pursue the career in the industry. 

Application for Imperial College London – MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures 2016

Hi there, I want to share about my application process for Postgraduate program at Imperial College London. Hope this post enlighten your mind about applying for Imperial MSc program. I will tell the story in chronological order.

8 February – 1 March 2016

I started studying about Imperial College since 2015 and applying for the program on 8 February 2016. You can scrutinize the program description in the website. They made the program handbook, course description, program specification, and the FAQ available for download. SEF also has released a blog at where students and lab members write their opinion and story. You can also request a prospectus to Imperial Graduate Admissions to learn more about the postgraduate program. All aplication for Imperial College London made via the online admission system.

The MSc in Sustainable Energy Futures program itself had opened the application since late 2015. However the deadline for application is 31 March 2016. The deadline means you have to complete the application documents not late than the specified date. The application documents include two letter of recommendations, only if both LoR are submitted and accepted then the application status would change into completed. Please mind the uncertainty for letter of recommendation submission from your reference so your application would complete in time. Mind that this program is quite competitive, every year around 50 students accepted amongst around 350 applicants from all over the world. Timing is vital, the early you applied, the success chance is higher than later application. I completed my application on 1 March 2016 because my second recommendation came at 1 March, even all application form had been filled and first recommendation already given. I waited almost one month just for recommendation. Luckily I still have time before the deadline application day.

When you apply using the online application, you should get a CID (College Identification) Number as log in ID in Imperial College Student e-services website. Activate your account and make a password. You can save your progress while filling the forms and continue whenever you want. You cannot continue further if the required box still not filled. If you have completed the application, you can monitor the progress using student e-services web. However if the decision has been made, you should get a notification in your email. I got an email on 11 April 2016 (about 5 weeks from the completion of application) for the decision notification. Later I found out I was conditionally accepted for the MSc program. You should respond to the offer whether to accept or defer it.

11 April 2016 – Decision on the application

How to change the conditional offer to unconditional?

In the student e-services site, there should be a list of outstanding* items need to be submitted to ICL. In normal case, they might ask for proof of bachelor completion alongside the academic transcript. They also might require a deposit to be made, however this can be substituted by letter of guarantee or letter of scholarship. In my case as Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education, I submitted a LOS and it worked as a magic. I need only to submit the bachelor certificate and academic trancript by air mail. I was using Indonesia mail service, EMS POS Indonesia to transfer the documents. The damage cost was only around 300 thousand IDR. Just for information, using DHL services might costed around 600 thousand IDR.

For LPDP awardee or any of you intending to attend ICL as LPDP awardee, I suggest to apply for ICL after you got the LOS from LPDP. In some case, ICL is strict about deposit payment. It would be better if you already have the LOS to guarantee your payment, so deposit does not need to be made. I apply for LPDP in January 2016 and accepted in March 2016. The timing was just perfect for me.

*They require me to send the original documents, however after consult with my fellow friend I decided to send the copy documents with legalized stamp. The registry did not complaint and 1 day after the arrival of documents, my status altered to unconditionally accepted.

What to do after I unconditionally accepted?

You might prepare the documents needed for visa application. It depends on your country, should you see the visa and immigrations of UK website about that. I got a long period of waiting my CAS* number to be generated by ICL because regarding to the course starting date at 1 October 2016, CAS will not be generated early than 1 July 2016. In a period of time between late April 2016 until July 2016, I could only prepare for documents for visa application waiting on the CAS to come. If you need a Letter of Acceptance, just contact the registry for your study program and soon it will be sent to you. However you should on unconditional offer to have that.

*CAS is Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies, required to make UK Visa Tier 4 type. It accounts for 30 points in your total visa points of 40. The other 10 accounts for maintenance fee during your study in UK.

For any of you applying for the ICL postgrad program, I wish you good luck!

Internship Experience – Chevron Pacific Indonesia 2013

I am a participant of Chevron Pacific Indonesia University Partnership Program 2013. Chevron Pacific Indonesia or CPI are one of the biggest Oil Production Sharing Contract in Indonesia. They manage big oil and gas blocks in Indonesia, such as Riau and East Kalimantan. Chevron also manage geothermal plant in West Java, the Salak and Daradjat field. Chevron University Partnership Program is one of their CSR program to foster university student participation on internship program in oil and gas company. On 2013, it was exclusive only for ITB and UGM students. Hope the program continue to give equal opportunity for all university in Indonesia.

In short, I applied for Facility Engineer Intern and got accepted as one of participant. First is administration selection, followed by psychology and aptitude test. If you passed, you will invited to panel interview section. Medical check up invitation will arrive if you pass the interview section. Induction day was held for all participants before assigned to specified operations. As for me, I was assigned to Sumatera Operation where the Duri and Minas oil field are existed.

Power Generation and Transmission Department

As a Facility Engineer Intern in Power Generation and Transmission Department, I was supervised by a lead mechanical engineer and a reliability mechanical engineer. Bang Albert Marihot was a lead mechanical engineer at that time, he had more than ten years experience in facility engineering field as he worked in Freeport (copper and gold mining company) and Indonesia Power (power plant) before. Pak Hendra Oktawira was a new reliability engineer, had experienced many years as reliability engineer at a petrochemical company.

The responsibility of PGT department is to supply and sustain electricity power for all Sumatera operation. That is including drilling and residence facility. If the power goes out, that means a reduced PGT’s key performance index. The department mostly habitated by electricity power engineers, project engineers, and mechanical engineers. Mechanical engineers mainly acted as reliability engineer of all equipments involved in power generation, transimssion and distribution process. I was assigned on the implementaion of Risk Based Inspection method on the transmission and distribution equipment. The equipment is steam turbine, gas turbine, heat exchanger power pole.

Power Pole

Electric Power Pole

Do not mind the electric things appear above, even at that time I did not really understand about the how electricity in power pole works. As a mechanical reliability engineer, our task is to maintain the mechanical integrity of the pole that sustain all electrical equipments. The pole sustain all mechanical loads from the weight of equipment and external load from wind forces. One pole falling down could cause disruption of the transmission of electric power for the operation, that means NPT that cause loss of money. Loss of money = blamed employee.

The unusual things done here are the Risk Based Inspection applied for the power pole equipment. RBI is usually applied for pressurized oil and gas equipment with high risk consequences. However, we applied the RBI methodology to the maintenance process of power pole. As you know before that RBI is documented in American Petroleum Institute (API) 580 and 581. They are standard which widely used for oil and gas equipment throughtout the industry. In RBI, we assigned each equipment a risk value and then group them based on their risk level. Each risk level might need different mitigation and maintenance effort. Risk defined as probability of failure (PoF) times the consequence of failure (CoF). In a more simple way, we sometimes use risk matrix to define the risk value. There is 3×3 matrix, 4×4 matrix, or 5×5 matrix which more complex. There may be an equipment that has very low probability of failure but might cause disastrous consequence when failure happen. RBI tried to accomodate the effects of both probability and consequence to make a proper preventive maintenance process. As for example: power pole in several Chevron areas were more susceptible to corrosion due to high H2S gas in the enviroment will raise the PoF. If we compare the poles to other in lower corrosion level area, those poles should be assigned a higher risk level so the maintenance treatment will be different. They might need extra thermal, NDT, or thickness inpsection more frequently than the lower risk one. That sums up my works in the internship period. Mostly I learned how maintenance engineer works. I sometimes attended meeting with the inspection vendor, weekly meeting with director, presenting my assessment and giving recommendation. I also gain knowledge of electricity generation process with their transmission and generations equipments.

Such a wonderful experience for a summer internship as an Facility Engineer! *Of course the money was also very good for a college student.

UPP 2013 Alumni – Facility Engineer Intern – SMO Area



Sarulla Geothermal Operation – Powering North Sumatera

Hi there, right now I am writing this post while laying on my bed during my off day. During on duty day, I commute to North Tapanuli area, North Sumatera, Indonesia. I have worked on the drilling project of Sarulla Operation Ltd. geothermal power plant for 1 year since April 2015. The project actually commenced at the end of 2014, had objection to drill sufficient production and re-injection well to supply the phase 1 geothermal power plant. Sarulla Operation Ltd. or SOL (which I will be saying for it from now) would supply a total of 330 MW power, which project divided into 3 phases with 110 MW each. Sarulla Operation Ltd. is a consortium of three companies from USA, Japan, and South Korea. Japan, represented by Kyushu Power mostly participated on the later project for power generating technology. South Korea, represented by Hyundai Construction started early as the main contractor for infrasructure for power plant and drilling pad infrastructure. USA with Ormat Technologies contributed mainly on drilling and exploration project, and also contributed to power plant technology.

There will be two power plants, Silangkitang (SIL) power plant and Namora I Langit (NIL) power plant. Right when I write this post, SIL power plant is in the middle of construction. Whereas the steam production well had been drilled and tested. During early 2015 until early 2016 I served as MWD Engineer of Sperry Directional Drilling Services to drill 3 production wells and 2 re-injection wells. Last time I visited the site was on January 2016, last time I took a peek on the site on April 2016 the drilling rig had been gone. The central heat exchanger (probably condenser) has been in place, with piping has been installed on the well head. Just for information, UNOCAL (now: Chevron) drilled 3 wells back on early 1990s which well will also be utilized for the SIL power plant. From the news I heard from the wind, one of SIL production well gave around 30 MW capacity when tested. For a single well, it is kind of enormous. I hope the test result turn to be true to make Sarulla as the first biggest geothermal power plant in the world. Hopefully this power plant could overcome the electricity supply deficit in the North Sumatera province.

The rising of geothermal project in Indonesia

Before SOL, there were some company participated in geothermal project in Indonesia such as Supreme Energy on South Sumatera Province, Star Energy on West Java Province, Chevron Geothermal on West Java Province, Pertamina Geothermal Energy on several provinces across Indonesia. However, SOL has proved the rising trend of Indonesia geothermal project investment from foreign investor. In Sabang, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam it is rumored that Turkey company invested for geothermal drilling project there. Also on West Java, Sukabumi it is also stated that PT Jabar Rekind Geothermal (a province owned company) will started drilling for geothermal. Those project has became one of way to fulfill the target of 35000 MW electricity supply target, set by Joko Widodo the 7th President of Indonesia. President Jokowi indicating commitment about sustianable energy in Indonesia, asking several percent of 35000 MW coming from non-fossil and non-coal source. I predicted the trend of geothermal drilling project will be bullish in upcoming year.

I hope SOL project become a huge success, which then initiate other private and public investor to invest in geothermal and other renewable energy sector in Indonesia. In demand of electricity on rural area across Indonesia, renewable and sustainable energy project also boost the economic wheel. In the end, equal development would be achieved. Sumatera, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua also have the rights to develop. Starting from electricity and infrastructure and in the end the human resource. Let’s see North Tapanuli in several years ahead the SOL project. I am curious to see the transformation that a geothermal project could make to a rural area.

Jakarta, 14 April 2016