Jakarta. The government will auction off six geothermal projects worth $1.02 billion in September to expand Indonesia's renewable energy capacity as part of its plan to become the world's largest geothermal producer.
Local companies and foreign investors from the United States, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Turkey and China have expressed interest in the projects, which will have a combined capacity of 255 megawatts.
"This auction is quite attractive, but we have to wait for the result because the auction process usually takes four to five months," Yunus Saefulhak, geothermal director at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said over the weekend.
The projects are Kapahiang in Bengkulu with a capacity of 110 MW, Simbolon Samosir in North Sumatra with 110 MW, Borapulu in Central Sulawesi with 10 MW, Lamiding in North Maluku with 10 MW and Oka Ile Ange and Mount Sirung in East Nusa Tenggara with capacities of 10 MW and 5 MW, respectively.
"The amount of investment in each geothermal region varies, depending on the region and local conditions. But on average, the investment for geothermal development is around $4 million per megawatt," Yunus said.
The government aims for Indonesia, which is now the world's third-largest geothermal producer, to become the world's largest by 2021, overtaking current number one, the United States.
Indonesia expects to have a total geothermal capacity of 3,559.5 MW within the next four years. The country's total geothermal capacity amounted to 1,643.5 MW last year.
The United States' geothermal capacity is expected to stagnate at 3,450 MW with no new developments being planned. Meanwhile the Philippines, currently the world's second-largest geothermal producer, has fully tapped its potential and may see its capacity decline from 1,870 MW currently.
This year, Indonesia will add an additional 215 MW capacity from the Sarulla geothermal power plant in North Sumatra, 30 MW from Karaha in West Java, 20 MW from Sorik Marapi in North Sumatra and 55 MW from Ulubelu Unit 4 in Lampung.