President Jokowi inaugurated 74 new electrified villages in Papua. With the inauguration of new electrified villages, the total of electrified villages that have been getting electricity is 191 villages by 2017.
For 74 villages, the total investment made by the State Electricity Company (PLN) is 150 billion IDR with the number of families already connected with the electricity in 74 villages as many as 1040 families. Potential customers who have not connected are 2700 families. Installation of electricity for one family spends costs by 150 million/family. This is due to the difficult geographical area of the village to be distributed electricity.
“In Papua, there are 2000 villages that have not been powered by electricity, but next year all the villages in the Land of Papua should be powered by electricity,” said Jokowi. Jokowi added that for the electricity in all the region of Papua, the development should be accelerated, although the geographical condition is very difficult and requires a large of costs.
PLN’s Regional Business Director for Maluku and Papua, Ahmad Rofik, said that lighting up electricity to the edge of Papua region is a special gift for residents in the rural villages of Papua and West Papua from PLN. Especially for Nabire, Rofik explained that in December there will be two villages that get electricity from PLN, namely Bomopay and Parauto which located in Yaro District. Both villages will get supply from Nabire Gas Engine Power Plant (PLTMG) with a capacity of 20 megawatts (MW).
The Bomopay Village is about 60 kilometers from Nabire’s downtown, with 63 heads of households work as farmers. To supply electricity in the village, PLN builds the 3.25-kilometer circuit (kms) of Medium Voltage Network (JTM), besides PLN also builds a 1 kms of Low Voltage Network (JTR) and 50 kilovolt Ampere (kVA) of the substation.
Meanwhile, the Parauto Village is about 66 km from Nabire’s downtown, with 48 heads of households mostly work as farmers. To distribute electricity in this village, PLN has built 6.25 kms of Medium Voltage Network (JTM), 0.9 kms of Low Voltage Network (JTR), and 25 kVA of the substation.
“So many challenges we face in the installation of electricity in villages, especially for the countryside in Papua and West Papua, among them is the mobilization of equipment because the geographical condition is very difficult, there are also some social problems we have to face,” he said.
The development of rural electricity is one of the government’s strategic programs to increase electrification ratio and the ratio of electrified villages. In the last two years, PLN Papua & West Papua has succeeded in increasing the electrification ratio of Papua Province from 45.93% to 50.11% and the ratio of electrified villages from 22.02% in 2015 to 29.53% in 2017. As for the West Papua Province, the electrification ratio is increased from 82.7% to 91.76% and the ratio of electrified villages increased from 33.23% in 2015 to 54.47% in 2017. (metrotvnew.com&merdeka.com)
Keywords: Papua, West Papua, development, government, electricity, economy, Papuans, State Electricity Company
Sakhiyatun K (MaCDIS Researcher)