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Jokowi Aiming to Electrify All Villages in Papua by 2018

TEMPO.COJakarta – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) is aiming to electrify all villages in Papua by 2018.

“I have told the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, assisted by [state-owned electricity company] PL, that next year Papua villages must become bright,” Jokowi said on Wednesday, Dec. 20, during the inauguration of two natural gas power plants with a capacity of 20 MW and 50 MW, respectively, in Nabire District.

President Joko Widodo said that 3,000 villages are yet to be electrified in Indonesia and some 2,000 of which are in Papua.

The President admits that building electricity infrastructure in Papua is not an easy task, citing its rough terrain.

He was also told that the development cost is high but he is determined to achieve it in a bid to ensure wealth equality.

“I was told by the Energy Minister that to build on a village we need Rp2 billion. Elsewhere, it will cost Rp1 billion. It is indeed more expensive. But it’s not about expensive and cheap. It’s about social justice for the Indonesian people,” Jokowi said.

The President said that he will do anything for Papua people, such as adopting one fuel price policy, cutting cement prices, road construction, healthcare and education.

After the inauguration event, Jokowi reiterated that the Energy Ministry is confident of electrifying Papua villages, both through PLN power grids and solar panels.

ANTARA