Picture 1. From left to right: Akhmad Hanan, M.Si (Han) (PYC), Mr. Bukti Panggabean, SH., MH (Manager of Public Relation B’right PLN Batam), Anggun Alfina Zakia, SE. (PYC) and Mr. Yoga (Public Relation Staff of B’right PLN Batam)

In 1971, Pertamina was mandated as the first company to manage electricity in Batam’s Industrial area.  Pertamina used a diesel power plant that has a low capacity, i.e., 2 x 188 KvA. Because of its small capacity, the electricity available was only used by Pertamina to empower its employee’s house. In 1993, the electricity management then was handed over to PT PLN (The Indonesia State Electricity Company), by setting up a sub-unit named PT PLN Batam Special Territory.

Based on the Indonesia Ministry of Investment and SOEs (State Owned Enterprises) Decree No. S-23/M-PM-PBMUN/2000 on August 23, 2000, PT PLN Batam Special Territory changed into PT PLN Batam, as a subsidiary company of PT PLN Persero. PT PLN Batam manages electricity from upstream to downstream, and PT PLN Batam did not receive any subsidies from the government. This is given by the fact that Batam is an industrial area, in which its electricity service can cover enough to power Batam’s industrial operation facilities.

On June 2008, the name PT PLN Batam was rebranded to B’right PLN Batam. B’right PLN Batam serves the area of Batam Indonesia Free Zone Authority (BP Batam), which includes Batam, Rempang, and Galang (Barelang). Meanwhile, PT PLN Persero serves the rest, which is the governmental area of Batam.

Up to July 2017, B’right PLN Batam has a capacity installed of 373 MW and a power capability of 300 MW with a load of peaks of 259 MW. B’right PLN Batam serves approximately 300,000 customers and reaches the area within a radius of 40 kilometers. The electrification ratio in Batam city is very high, which is about 98 percent. The rest, 2 percent, is not powered by electricity because of illegal home ownership.

B’right PLN Batam uses fuel mix strategy. Until 2017, its primary energy consumption utilizes fuel gas (95.19 percent), while the remainder (4.81 percent) uses oil. B’right PLN electricity plants are operated by sole ownership or IPP (Independent Power Producer). The total installed capacity is 528.53 MW with a net capability power amounted to 455.52 MW.

Picture 2. Mr. Agus Subekti (General Secretary of B’right PLN Batam) explained electricity rates in Batam

Mr. Agus Subekti (the General Secretary of B’right PLN Batam) said that the price of electricity in Batam is relatively lower than the national electricity price. Batam has the lowest frequency of power outages than other cities in Indonesia. In 2005, B’right PLN Batam was able to export electricity to the area of Tanjung Pinang (Bintan) using sea cables connection. The tariff composition in Batam is equal with the tariff composition of PT PLN Persero, yet exclude tariffs on electric traction and bulk. The power segment and general practice implemented by B’right PLN Batam also equal with PT PLN Persero. The only difference, however, is the base rate of electricity pricing. A cross-subsidy of pricing is applied to households and businesses sector since 2008. B’right PLN Batam does not increase the electricity-pricing base rate for household segments, but the differentiate production cost is charged to business and industry sector. In 2014, the base-pricing rate for electricity followed local government policy.

On April 1, 2017, B’right PLN Batam enacted tariff adjustment electrical power for the community users. According to the rule of the Governor’s no. 21/2017, tariff adjustment is made by adjusting the price of the electricity for the household (consumers), i.e., R1/1300 VA, R1/2200 VA, R2 above 2200 VA and social, commercial S3/TM above 200 kVA. Tariff adjustment occurs because there is an increase in the cost of staple production of electric power. Hence, cross-subsidies are applied for consumers at lower levels. The tariff adjustment is outlined in the following; For R1/1300 VA is from IDR 930.74/Kwh to IDR 1.210/Kwh; For R1/2200 VA is from IDR 970.01/Kwh to IDR 1.261/Kwh; For above 2200VA is from IDR 1.436/Kwh to IDR 1.508/Kwh. While for the social-commercial S3 a 200 kVA and above is from IDR 843/Kwh to IDR 885/Kwh.

According to Mr. Agus Subekti, a concerning issue is that the current growth of electricity demand for customers in Batam has decreased 2 percent this year. Many industries left Batam’s industrial region and further moved to other regions since 2008. But in the other, B’right PLN Batam has remained to be independent of the state budget until now.

Picture 3. During an interview with Mr. Bukti Panggabean, SH., MH. (Manager of Public Relation B’right PLN Batam)

B’right PLN Batam also supports the central government program of the 35,000 MW electricity power plant constructions. Mr. Bukti Panggabean, SH., MH. (Manager of Public Relation B’right PLN Batam) said that in order to support such government program, the shareholders -through General Meeting of Shareholder (GMS) circularly on October 21, 2015- assigned B’right PLN Batam to develop mobile power plants in Mataram, Bangka, East Tanjung Jabung, Pontianak, Lampung, and Sei Rotan with a total capacity of 500 MW. Also, B’right PLN Batam has participated in building power plants in Nias, North Sumatra, as it is a part of the 35,000 MW electricity plan.

* Based on the interview report by Akhmad Hanan and Anggun Alfina Zakia (PYC) at B’right PLN Batam.

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