Power Plant Maintenance Leaves Bali Hotels In the Dark
Made Arya Kencana & Ririn Radiwati. The Jakarta Globe, Denpasar - 22/03/2011
Denpasar. Bali will experience rolling blackouts for at least the next week as state utility provider Perusahaan Listrik Negara’s power plants undergo routine maintenance.
Hotels and holiday makers on the resort island will see darker evenings while PLN tends to its gas-fired power plant in Gilimanuk and others.
“PLN has stated that rolling blackouts will start on March 22 and will last until March 29,’’ said Dadan Koerniadipoera, general manager of PLN’s Bali branch.
Bali could lose as much as 188 megawatts in electricity during the maintenance work. Among the affected power plants are the 130 MW station in Gilimanuk, a 40 MW gas-powered plant in Pesanggaran and others that PLN did not specify.
Dadan said the drop in output would result in a 37.5 MW power deficit during the evening, when electricity consumption in Bali is at its highest.
In a bid to ease that deficit, PLN will apply rolling backouts to hotels from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Dadan urged hotel owners to use diesel generators during the blackouts.
He also asked individuals to help save electricity.
“By turning off 100 watts of electricity devices every day, even that can help,” he said.
Ngurah Adnyana, PLN’s director of operations for Java and Bali, said the electricity provider had already coordinated with hotels over its plan to reduce power use.
Patricia Muljadi, the public relations manager for the five-star Ayana Hotel and Spa, said PLN had sent a letter regarding the blackout plan. She said it would add to the hotel’s operational costs, “but we have not calculated the additional costs.”
Perry Markus, secretary for the Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) in Bali, said PLN’s plan for rolling blackouts was not executed well.
“There should be information dissemination first, not just going ahead with it immediately like this,” he said, adding that the plan would heap extra costs on hotels and restaurants. “Past experience has taught me that the blackouts usually occur longer than the scheduled time.”
Frequent blackouts in recent years, which have been blamed on poor infrastrucure, have caused airport delays, manufacturing shutdowns and generated intense pubic anger toward the state utility company.
In November 2009, Jakarta experienced 12-hour rolling blackouts after a fire at its central facility in Cawang, East Jakarta, caused overloads that derailed a power plant in Muara Karang and caused a major transformer facility in Gandul, South Jakarta, to malfunction.
In July last year, Central and South Jakarta and parts of Tangerang also faced power shortages. That August, Soekarno-Hatta International Airport operated with periodic blackouts, which caused 62 flights to be delayed on Aug. 6.