Saturday, February 24, 2024 | 06:56 WIB

A “Champion of electricity”

Jakarta, IO – PT Wijaya Karya has finally been announced as Indonesia’s most reliable EPC (Engineering Procurement Construction) company for electrical installation. Wika was named the “Best of the Best” EPC company last week. 

With its Indonesia Best Electricity Award, an EPC award awards the quality of electricity work arranged by companies across the country. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the award has been withheld for the past three years. 

While other power plant construction companies were established, they struggled to survive, with disappointing results. As a consequence, EPC work in the country was perpetually dominated by EPC companies from China, with previous work done by Japanese companies, and European and American companies prior to that. 

WiKa has completed two 65-MW power plants in South Kalimantan, and is in the process of building two 50-MW units. It has also won bids for constructing the next four projects. WiKa has been constructing numerous gas and diesel generator power plants, and has even been awarded a project to build geothermal power plants in Lumut Balai, South Sumatra, not far from Lahat. 

Pertamina operates two 65-MW Stage 2 geothermal power plant projects in Lumut Balai. The first stage has been completed, all involving Japanese contractors. The fact that WiKa is currently working on stage 2 is great news, especially if its output equals the results of previous Japanese work. After all, both are 55-MW power plant projects. 

Wika has never constructed a 100 MW power plant, let alone a 300-MW one, whereas China’s EPC has been able to build a 1,000-MW unit. A journey, after all, must begin small while thinking big. That’s life. 

Medco also received an award for Renewable Energy power plants. I assume the Sarulla geothermal power plant in Batak land is behind this. It is a huge 300-MW construction, conceived and erected in cooperation with Mitsubishi Japan. 

This means the Sarulla geothermal power plant is considered the best and most efficient, particularly when compared to other geothermal facilities owned by the Pertamina group. 

I’ve been to Sarulla several times. It is located in Tapanuli, a three-hour trip from Balige, situated exactly halfway between Toba and Sibolga. The company winning the Sarulla bid had previously not constructed anything, even when North Sumatra was experiencing an extraordinary electricity crisis at that time.