(EnergyAsia, June 28 2011, Tuesday) — Faced with depleting domestic supply and rising oil prices, Indonesia’s state electricity monopoly PT PLN said it will have to import a significant volume of natural gas this year.

The company is exploring the possibility of importing around 1,000 million standard cubic feet a day (mmscfd) from either Australia, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Kuwait or even Iran to ensure that it has sufficient feedstock to generate electricity for its customers throughout the country, said PLN president Dahlan Iskan.
However, he warned that this unplanned import would sharply raise PLN’s operating costs. Already, the company is producing only 9,800MW of electricity from its gas-fired plants, below their capacity of 11,000MW.

Mr Iskan said the government had promised to supply PLN around 1,800 mmscfd of gas at heavily subsidised prices, but it has been delivering only 800 mmscfd.

Last week, some members of the House of Representatives demanded the government seize the allocations of state gas distributor PT PGN from the Jambi Merang field in Jambi and the Lematang field in South Sumatra and re-direct them to PLN.