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Indonesia to give coal the sack and retire fossil-fuelled power plants

The south-eastern Asian nation’s state utility has unveiled plans to phase out its coal-fired power-generating sites as part of the country’s drive to carbon neutrality by 2060 

 

Top thermal coal exporter Indonesia is to retire its coal-fired power plants in a phased move towards becoming carbon neutral.

An official from the country’s state utility, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), said on Thursday that the move is part of its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

Indonesia’s government aims to source 23% of its energy from renewable sources by 2025, up from around 11% as of last year, but progress on renewable projects has been slow.

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“We are building a coal-fired power plant retirement timeline,” its deputy president director, Darmawan Prasodjo, said.

The first phase of that will see the closure of three coal-fired power plants by 2030 with a combined capacity of 1.1 gigawatts.

Those are the Muara Karang plant in the capital Jakarta, Tambak Lorok power plant in Semarang, the largest city in Central Java, and a gas and coal-fired power plant in Gresik, a regency in East Java.

In 2035, PLN aims to retire its conventional power plants which have a total capacity of 9 gigawatts, Darmawan said.

‘SUPERCRITICAL’ PLANTS

By 2040, “supercritical” coal-based power plants, or those using less polluting technology, with a total capacity of 10 gigawatts, will be shut.

The final phase of coal retirement will see its “ultra supercritical” coal power plants shut by 2056. “Then, we’ll reach carbon neutrality in 2060,” Darmawan said.

The world’s fourth most populous country has over 400 gigawatts potential capacity for sources like hydropower, solar and geothermal, but only around 2.5% had been utilised as of 2020, according to government data.

Despite the push for greener energy consumption, President Joko Widodo last year urged ministers to accelerate plans to build plants for upgrading the country’s coal downstream sector.

  • Reporting by Reuters

 

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Sean OMeara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.

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