With the aim of supplying low-carbon electricity to Singapore from 2027, an Indonesian renewable energy company will be building solar power plants costing US$9 billion (S$12.3 billion) on an island near Batam from 2024.
In a recent agreement, Marubeni Global Indonesia (MGI) has committed to provide 600 megawatts (MW) of electricity to Tuas Power, Singapore’s top power generation company, Tuas Power said. “It will submit its proposal to Singapore’s Energy Market Authority (EMA) by the end of November to import the electricity generated, which will be enough to power about 730,000 households.”
MGI Managing Director Tjaw Hioeng said, “The first phase of construction will kick off in March 2024 on Galang Island, which is south of Batam and part of Riau Islands province. Our Singapore partner requires the electricity to be connected to the grid by the end of 2027.”
The first solar farm will have a capacity of 2.55 gigawatt-peak (GWp) and a 7GWp battery-energy storage system. Hioeng said. “The second phase of the project will begin after the first solar farm commences operation in 2027. That phase will be located in nine less populated or uninhabited islands near Batam.”
Tuas Power’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Wong said, “The company will take the first phase of exports of up to 400MW. This will increase as the project progresses towards the 600MW target upon the second phase’s completion. The import of electricity is a long-term supply that will span 25 to 30 years”.
Wong said the 600MW would be about 15 per cent of Singapore’s target of importing 4GW of renewable energy by 2035. It is reported that Singapore’s EMA had given conditional approval to five companies to import a total of 2GW of low-carbon electricity a year from Indonesia. The importers are Pacific Medco Solar, Adaro Solar International, EDP Renewables Asia-Pacific, Vanda RE and Keppel Energy.
Further, the EMA has also given conditional approval for Singapore to import 1GW from Cambodia and 1.2GW from Vietnam. The Riau Islands provincial government is building solar power plants on six small islands in 2023 to meet domestic electricity demand. Akhmad Ma’ruf Maulana, chairman of the Riau Islands chapter of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, believes that the MGI project to help lure investments in the manufacturing of components used in solar plants.
“This is in line with the requirement set by the Indonesian government that any company keen to export electricity must source at least 60 per cent of the solar farm components domestically,” he said. Several companies have invested in Batam to build facilities to make solar cells and modules, he added.
“We hope the solar export projects can bring added value to us, create jobs and support the development of our solar industry,” stated Akhmad.