Despite Hard to Reach, the Government Continues to Ensure Electricity Enter Asmat Monday, February 5, 2018

  • 2018.02.05 Monday
  • 17:52


 EMR Communications Team

MIMIKA - Asmat District is a regency in the Southern coast of Papua with an area of ​​29,658 km2 surrounded by swamps, mangrove forests and rivers on various sides. As the nickname, "The City of Thousand Boards", Asmat is built on well-ordered boards. Between one house with another house connected by a board road about 1.5 to 2 meters, sturdy enough to pass two-wheeled vehicles. Gradually, the board road is now built into a concrete road.

Access to Asmat is very limited and difficult to reach. Aircraft only reaches to Timika airport (Capital of Mimika Regency). From Timika, there are only two options to Agats, the capital of Asmat district, by air or sea. The sea route takes 8 to 9 hours, while the air travel is taken in about 45 minutes with TwinOtter and Caravan aircraft with a capacity of 8-10 people to Ewer Airport. From there, the journey is continued by boat to Agats. The journey through the swamp and river takes about 30 minutes by boat.


The difficulty of access to transportation is one of the reasons for the slow economic growth, education, social and health services in Asmat District. Even with electricity, as stated by PT PLN (Persero) Manager  Salmon Kareth in Timika Area (2/2), currently in Asmat District PLN has illuminated 2,374 customers spread in Agats (2,090 customers) and Atsj (284 customers). PLN Agats Service Office supplies 1,400 kilo Watt (kW) of electricity, exceeding Agats peak load of 1,100 kW. While Atsj Service Office has 310 kW of power with peak load only about 120 kW.


Based on the report of the Directorate General of Electricity at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (2017), there are still 58 unelected villages in Asmat District. It is agreed that 40 villages will be electrified by PLN and the remaining 18 villages are targeted for the installation of Solar Energy Saving Lamp (LTSHE) as a pre-electrification program.


Department of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives (Perindagkop) as the unit of work in charge of ESDM affairs in Asmat District then proposed a number of 922 houses (1,179 HHs) in 14 villages to receive Solar Energy Saving Lamp (LTSHE)  from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources by financing APBN  (The Indonesian Budget) 2017. Challenges for LTSHE installation in Asmat is due to remote and scattered village locations, it must also be taken by sea / river journey.


Previously, PLN Timika Area also moved aggressively to illuminate Asmat by providing 601 Sehen Lamp (solar sell) in 5 districts namely Pulau Tiga (200), Sawaerma (150), Joerat (101), and Agats (150). "There are 601 Sehen lamps prepared by PLN for Asmat consisting of 4 districts and yesterday because of the extraordinary cases of measles and malnutrition, we also prioritize the villages with the most cases," Salmon said.


Electrical Power Situation of Timika Area

Since April 1, 2016, Asmat District previously under PLN Merauke Area, is now under the supervision of PLN Timika Area. Increased electricity infrastructure continues to be improved as one of the programs towards Terang Maluku - Papua 2020.


Generally, the electricity condition in the Timika area is sourced from Diesel Power Plant (PLTD) which operates alternately for 24 hours. This area is supported by 44 units of PLTD consisting of 10 units owned by PLN and 34 units owned by private.


"Timika's electricity condition so far is no problem, we use diesel power plants that operate day and night, there are 44 units of generators, our employees are keeping an eye on the operation," Salmon said.


Of the 44 units of diesel engines, continued Salmon, the installed capacity of PLTD of 51 MW and electricity capable of generating 27 MW. "Actually, we have 48 units of diesel engine, but there are 4 who are experiencing the disturbance," said Salmon .


Although there are some machines has trouble, electricity in the city of Timika and surrounding areas are still in safe status. Consumption of electricity per house also continues to increase. Salmon said that every home in Timika city even uses the average 1,300 kVA power because of the large number of Timika people who have a livelihood as a trader or have a kiosk / other place of business. (IW / KO)