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Private investors called on to help supply electricity to villages

The government has called on private investors to help support its plan to electrify thousands of villages across the country in a bid to spur economic growth.

Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Eko Putro Sandjojo stated that around 13,000 unelectrified villages across the archipelago needed at least 500 kilowatts of electricity each.

Hence, he suggested that private investors team up with village-owned enterprises (BUMDes), of which there are currently around 18,000, to develop power facilities in those villages.

“The BUMDes can send their staff to collect electricity fees from the villagers. That way, private entities can invest their money and those villages will stand a chance of getting electricity,” Eko said recently in Jakarta.

On Wednesday, the Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Ministry signed an agreement with US-based technology giant General Electric (GE) that paved the way for the latter to provide technological support for the former’s electrification program.

Eko said GE would supply up to 20 power plants in this collaboration, which is slated to begin next year.

State-owned electricity firm PLN plans to increase the national electrification ratio to 100 percent by 2024 from 91.16 percent last year.

To meet the target, PLN needs to procure 75,900 megawatts of electricity, 67,785 kilometers worth of transmission circuits and substation units with a total capacity of 164,544 mega volt ampere (MVA). (dmr)

Source: Jakarta Post