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NEWS ADMIN

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

DATE

15/01/2004

NEWS PROVIDER

Mahamad Rodzi Abdul Ghani

NEWS SOURCE

Asia Pulse (AP)

CATEGORY

HEADLINE

Indonesian Govt Backs Biomass Energy Development
JAKARTA, Jan 14 Asia Pulse - The Indonesian government will supportinitiatives to build biomass-fuelled power plants in accordance with itspolicy to promote the use of environment-friendly green energy, a seniorenergy official said.

"Since scientiific research has shown that biomass is a renewable energysource that can be used to meet demand for electricity, we will supportits development," Yoga Pratama, director general for electricity at theEnergy and Mineral Resouces Ministry, said here Tuesday.

He was speaking on the sideline of an international workshop on biomassand clean fossil power plant technology organized by the Agency for theAssessment and Application of Technology (BPPT).

He said development of alternative energy sources has become an urgentissue considering the country's dwindling oil reserves.

"Our oil reserves are predicted to be used up within the next 15 to 20years. If we cannot find new energy sources, Indonesia may become an oilimporter," he added.

The BPPT has conducted research on biomass energy and set up a biomasspilot project using waste materials such as rice husks, palm-oil waste andcane pulp, things that are usually thrown away.

Meanwhile, the head of BPPT's energy resource laboratory, Agus R Hoetman,said although Indonesia had great biomass energy potential, its usage tomeet power demand was relatively low.

"Indonesia's biomass is still being developed on a small scale and itseconomic potential was still hard to quantify. But we have a largepotential of biomass energy that could attract investors if we process iton a large scale," Agus said.

The BPPT, he added, could bring the technology to sugar cane plantation orpalm oil industry to use its waste products as biomass fuel energy.

A specific process on biomass would result energy which is equivalent tothose resulted from fossil fuel oil, Agus said.

In addition, biomass energy would not emit poisonous gas in accordancewith the principle of clean development mechanism (CDM).

Some investors have eyed the potential of biomass-generated power plant.

"Biomass energy has been popular in Europe and America. Despite itscleanness, biomass that used waste material would help efforts to preserveenvironment," the Director of Production for PT Gokoko Kogyo Indonesia,Joseph Hwang said.

The technology of biomass-generated power plant could be applied in remoteareas which could not be reached by state-run electricity company, PTPLN's network, Joseph said.

(ANTARA)

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