As Indonesia is positioning the geothermal energy as its strategic power source, the country holds the world’s largest amount of potential geothermal resources around 40%. The enhancement of geothermal power projects is one of the strategic and environmental friendly energy sources, which also becomes the priority of the Government of Indonesia in securing alternative energy sources. This is in line with the Government’s policies in energy diversification, fuel oil (Bahan Bakar Minyak = BBM) consumption reduction and anticipating the rise in electricity demands in Indonesia, especially in North Sumatera.
Sarulla Geothermal Project is a core part of the Indonesian government’s electricity development program (the Fast Track Program II) and a private-sector financed geothermal project to successfully conclude power purchase arrangements under that program.Anticipating the electricity demands in North Sumatera, Sarulla Operation Ltd (“SOL”) will build the largest single-contract geothermal power plants in the world with the capacity of 3 x 110 MW (“Project”). The location of the Project is Pahae Julu and Pahae Jae Districts, North Tapanuli Regency, North Sumatra Province. The commercial operation of the first unit is scheduled to be started in 2016 followed by the other two units in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
The Project will be fueled by steam and brine from two production and injection facilities at Silangkitang (“SIL”) and Namora-I-Langit (“NIL”) reservoirs. The plants of the Project will apply Geothermal Combined Cycle Units (“GCCU”) which are more efficient than conventional flash type geothermal power plants. The plants will capture the steam and brine from the wells and produce energy throughout the day and is intended for base load operation. The condensate steam and the brine water will be re-injected into underground via wells to maintain sustainable geothermal resources. The Project will also include approximately 20 km transmission line from plants to the 150/275 KV substation, which will be constructed by PLN.
As of July 2015, SOL has completed 5 development wells with estimated capacity 122 MW. Another 2 development wells are now being drilled. SOL has also completed 4 injection wells with 2 more are being drilled right now.
In 2015, SOL received awards for project finance arrangements from several magazines, namely Asia Pacific Power Deal of the Year 2014 from Project Finance International (PFI), Deals of the Year 2014 from Trade Finance Magazine, Asia Pacific Power 2014 from IJGlobal Asia Pacific, Best Project Financing 2014 from Global Capital Asia, and Best Project Financing in Asia 2014/2015 from Finance Asia.