World Bank Supports New Pumped Storage Power Plant to Meet Indonesia's Growing Demand

May 26, 2011

Jakarta, May 26, 2011 – The World Bank is set to help Indonesia meet its growing electricity demand and make electricity supplies more reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable through the Upper Cisokan Pumped Storage Hydropower project – the first facility of its kind in Indonesia. The project entails direct cooperation with Indonesia’s state electric company, PLN, and once successfully implemented, is expected to provide over 1,000 MW of peak-hour electricity to the Java-Bali power system.


“A reliable, affordable and sustainable supply of electricity is essential for Indonesia to emerge as a large mid-income economic power in the next decade. As it stands now, Indonesia has one of the lowest consumption rates per capita in the region. Electrification ratios too remain low,” says Stefan G. Koeberle, the World Bank Country Director for Indonesia. “This project will help boost the peaking capacity of the Java-Bali power system, reduce oil dependency and support economic growth over the medium to long term.”


Pumped storage is the only form of technology that allows you to efficiently store large amounts of energy and quickly respond to peak electrical demand. The Upper Cisokan project will make Indonesia one of very few developing countries to have such a power plant, says Leiping Wang, the World Bank Senior Energy Specialist in charge of the project team.


Pumped storage systems work using two water reservoirs built at differing heights. Energy is stored by using pump turbines to transfer water from the low to the high reservoir, during off-peak hours. During periods of peak demand, the stored water in the high reservoir is then released through turbines to the low reservoir for hydroelectric power generation. 


PLN stands to gain financially from this pumped storage system: surpluses of cheap electricity generated during off-peak hours can now be transformed into valuable peak energy. Construction of the Upper Cisokan facility nearby Bandung, West Java is expected to be completed in 2016, at a total cost of US$ 800 million. The World Bank will help finance the project with a US$ 640 million loan that was approved today by the World Bank’s executive board.  PLN will finance the remaining project cost of US$ 160 million.  

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