PT PLN Indonesia Power has reported significant advancements in the small modular reactor (SMR) nuclear power plant (PLTN) project in West Kalimantan, with the economic feasibility study phase nearing completion.
Bernardus Sudarmanta, Director of Business Development and Commerce at PLN Indonesia Power, said the economic feasibility study for this project is expected to conclude in the coming months.
“The economic feasibility study for the construction of the nuclear power plant using SMR technology is in progress, and it is expected to be completed around April, with a capacity of approximately 200 megawatts,” Sudarmanta said on Tuesday, January 31, 2024.
Regarding the project’s development plans and realization targets,Sudarmanta emphasized that they are contingent on the upcoming Power Supply Business Plan (RUPTL).
“I think it depends on the Power Supply Business Plan (RUPTL) that will be released, whether it includes the nuclear power plant portion. This is more of an anticipation if there is a nuclear power plant portion in the RUPTL,” he stated.
The construction of this power plant is part of Indonesia’s efforts to expedite the energy transition. In this study, PLN Indonesia Power collaborates with the Coordinating Ministry for the Economy, the National Research and Innovation Agency (BRIN), PT PLN, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), and the Russian company NuScale Power.
Sudarmanta said, so far, the project has not encountered any obstacles, whether technical, geographical, or economic.
“Technically, the technology is mature; it’s just a matter of political will. The question is, are we willing to go in that direction or not? In terms of geographical and economic obstacles, there have been no hindrances so far,” he commented.
Addressing the choice of West Kalimantan as the location for the nuclear power plant, Sudarmanta explained that the site selection had been studied for a considerable period.
“The West Kalimantan site has been under study for quite some time. The Indonesian National Nuclear Energy Agency (Batan) conducted joint studies, meaning the location suitable for the nuclear power plant has been identified for quite some time, and now it’s more about social and political considerations,” he said.
In 2022, BRIN researcher Djarot Sulistio Wisnubroto had cited reasons for the nuclear power plant development in West Kalimantan, emphasizing community support and stable geological conditions with a low earthquake risk.
“With low earthquake potential and supported by the community. More than 87 percent of the population in West Kalimantan, based on a 2019 survey, support the construction of a nuclear power plant,” he remarked.