25 Years of Awaiting. Nabire: From Dark to Light

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The President of Republic Indonesia, Joko Widodo, ceremonially launched the Nabire’s and Jayapura’s Gas Machine Power Plant (PLTMG) belongs to the National Electricity Company (PT PLN) on Wednesday, December 20, 2017. This event was held in Kalibobo, Nabire on 3.30 PM.

Also presented at the ceremonial was the Governor of Papua, Lukas Enembe; The Regent of Nabire, Isias Dow; The Main Director of PT PLN, Sofyan Basir; and the Head of Papua Regional Police Department, Irjen Boy Rafli Amar.

The capacity for Nabire’s power plant is 20 Megawatt and for Jayapura’s power plant reach 50 Megawatt. Soon after the launch, the power plant was starting to operate.

The Main Director of PT PLN, Sofyan Basir, said the power plant project has the investment value around 444 billion rupiahs. According to Basir, this power plant can increase Nabire’s system power until 105 percent. The power plant hopefully able to increase the electrification ratio and reach 25 thousand new electricity customers.

The Nabire’s power plant will distribute electricity to 74 villages, and two of them are Bomopai and Parauto villages, located 66 kilometers far away from Nabire city. There will be 1040 households that able to enjoy this gas machine power plant. Other 2700 households have not connected with electricity, which becomes potential customers in the future.

The electricity set-up process has been started since the early of November 2017. It started with mounting the electricity pole including in Bomopai village. This village exists since the year of 1992. However, they wait for 25 years to be able to enjoy 24-hour electricity service. Thanks to Nabire’s power plant, this village now sparks light the whole night.

The Nabire’s power plant located in Kalibobo village, Nabire District. The development of this power plants has absorbed 479 workers and designated to be able to function using two types of fuel, which are HSD (High-Speed Diesel) and Gas. HSD is a fuel that usually used by diesel transportation machine and industrial machine. If Nabire’s power plant using HSD as their fuel, its estimated will able to save cost around 93 million rupiahs. While using gas will enable Nabire’s power plant to save cost until 158 million per day.

Jayapura’s power plant located in Holtekamp village, Muara Tami district, Jayapura city. The development of this power plant has absorbed 538 workers, also designated to be able to use two types of fuels. If Jayapura power plant uses HSD as their fuel, the power plant will be able to save 220 million rupiahs per day. And if they use gas to operate the power plant, it will save around 383 million rupiahs per day.

Short Facts of Nabire

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Nabire is one of District in Papua Province which located on the back surface of Papua Island. This District has a vast area of 15,357.55 kilometers square. Most of its topography is hilly. Nabire’s PLTMG itself is 20 minutes far away by car from Nabire City center.

Nabire name’s origin quite varies according to some ethnic groups. Based on the Wate tribes story, Nabire comes from the word of ‘Nawi’ which means crickets. At that time there were so many crickets in Nabire, especially along the Nabire river. Soon the name changes into ‘Nawire’ and finally become ‘Nabire’.

According to Yerisyam tribes, Nabire comes from ‘Navirei’ which means the land that left over. Navirei itself was a name of a place where Hegure tribes and Yerisyam tribes having a peace agreement.

Another story comes from Hegure tribes, they said that Nabire comes from Inambre words that have the meaning of coastal area that has many palm plantations. Many tribes then come to this area and soon the pronounce of Inambre change into Nabire.

From the government side, Nabire is the abbreviation of Comfort, Safe, Clean, Beautiful, and Friendly situation in Papua.

Why Electricity in Papua Matters

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The night before President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) officially launch Nabire’s and Jayapura’s power plant, he experienced electricity blackout in a hotel in Sorong. And he told this experience to the people who attended the event. Joko Widodo then emphasized the importance of electricity for the development in Indonesia Eastern part, mostly for Papua and West Papua. According to Jokowi, sufficient electricity supply would be the key to investment in Papua and West Papua.

Moreover, the electricity is essential for daily activity. Papua people that used to be cannot have activity in the night, now able to utilize time wisely. The entrepreneurship effort among society will grow and continuously develop. Even the children now can study and do their homework at night because of the electric lamp.

Jokowi also stated that previously people told him that developing Papua will cost a high budget. He also got the report from the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resource, as well as from PT PLN that develop a village in Papua will cost budget around 2 billion rupiahs. If the government build village facilities in other places will only cost 1 billion rupiahs.

Jokowi then responds to the report, “It’s true, it will be more expensive, and the cost will be twice as another region. However, this is not about cheap or expensive. It is about social justice for all Indonesian that we must fulfill.”