“The use of CNG, through PLN’s subsidiary, is part of efforts to improve efficiency,” PLN president director Nur Pamudji said.
The plant, located in Muara Tawar in Bekasi, West Java, will be capable of storing 5 million standard cubic feet (mmscf) of CNG. The fuel will be used to fire PLN’s gas-fired Muara Tawar power plant.
The power plant is currently supplied by state gas distributor Perusahaan Gas Negara and Pertamina EP, a unit of state energy company Pertamina.
To support the activity, the CNG plant is equipped with a pump station that provides natural gas for vehicles. The pump station will also supply the operational vehicles at the plant.
PLN operates four gas-fueled vehicles at the site, which serves as an example of the company’s efforts to turn to natural gas as fuel.
PGN and Pertamina EP have committed to supply an average of 180 billion British thermal units per day (BBTUD). However, in the peak season, the supply can be increased to 300 BBTUD.
Nur said the project, which cost PLN Rp 557 billion, broke ground on July 1, last year and that it was completed within eight and a half months.
By using gas instead of high-speed diesel — used for power generation — PLN can save up to Rp 1.79 trillion, assuming that the price of high-speed diesel is Rp 8,800 per liter.
Nur said diesel is still used in a small proportion in the Muara Tawar power plant, but that “in the future, it has to be completely eliminated, or used just in case of emergencies.”
Surabaya-based PJB was established in 1995 and operates five gas-fired power plants with a total installed capacity of 6,977 megawatts.
PLN is also building CNG storage plants in other regions, including in Sei Gelam, in Jambi province; Duri, in Riau province; Bangkanai, in Central Kalimantan, and Gresik, in East Java.