In the latest of our site tours for media reporters, designed to give the media a deeper understanding of the business activities of Sumitomo Corporation, we visited Indonesia to introduce a large-scale coal-fired power plant, which we constructed and own and lease to an Indonesian state-owned electricity company; and a geothermal power station, to which we supplied equipment under EPC contracts.
In this site tour, we visited two locations of our power generation business in Indonesia: the Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plantdetail and the Wayang Windudetail.
In Indonesia, more than 70 percent of its population lives in Java, an island of 132 square kilometers which includes the nation’s capital Jakarta. The country’s rapid economic growth has resulted in power demand in the country increasing by 7 percent each year. Even higher demand is anticipated in the future: an annual growth rate of 9.2 percent is expected to continue until 2019. To address the resulting tighter power supply in the country, the Indonesian government announced a program to promote the development of power plants in the country, the first and the second rounds of the Crash Program in 2006 and 2010, respectively. Under the program, the government has been working to develop new power sources, using Independent Power Producers (IPPs) and making a shift to geothermal and other renewable energies.
Day 1: Tanjung Jati B coal-fired power plant
Tanjung Jati B is located in Jepara, a coastal village a three-hour drive from Semarang, the fourth largest city in Java Island. From Jakarta, it is an hour’s flight to Semarang. As we had already flown to Semarang the night before, we checked out of the hotel at seven in the morning to head for Jepara. After driving through several towns, we caught a glimpse of the ocean. Then high-rise chimneys emitting steam came into view in the distance. The reporters immediately grabbed their cameras to take photos. Our site tour was underway! After arriving at the power plant, we received an explanatory briefing on the site from Sumitomo Corporation employees working at CJPdetail on assignment. They then gave us a plant tour, showing us around.
Tanjung Jati B occupies an area of 150 hectares.
The first destination of the plant tour was the end of the coal unloading jetty stretching some 1,500 meters. Coal is unloaded from vessels here, and then sent to the plant facilities by conveyer belt. We were told that there is a perfect photo-shooting location, overlooking the entire plant: the coal-unloading crane installed on the wharf, approximately 40 meters above the sea level. The entire group, including an acrophobic reporter, went up to the top of the crane, spending a considerable time taking photos of the plant and the beautiful emerald green sea under a clear blue sky.
We were all overwhelmed by the sheer size of the crane and the length of the conveyer belt.
Naturally, coal is crucially important to coal-fired power plants. To operate existing units of Tanjung Jati B, approximately four million tons of coal are shipped each year from Kalimantan Island, about 1,000 km away from the plant site in a dedicated Panamax-size* vessels. As the coal-unloading wharf is on the open sea, coal may not be unloaded from the vessel when the sea is rough. Taking this risk into consideration, 400,000 or more tons of coal are usually stored in the coal storage area, ensuring a two-month supply of coal.
* The largest size of vessel which can travel through the Panama Canal.
The coal-carrying conveyor belt travels from the jetty to the coal storing area, and to the boiler.
A coal-fired power plant generates electricity by burning coal in its boiler to produce steam, which drives the steam turbines that turn the electrical generator. Coal from the storage area is blasted into the boiler. The heat generated by burning coal produces high temperature and high pressure steam, which then drives the turbine. The boiler of Tanjung Jati B is as tall as a 10-story building, indicating the magnitude of the heat produced by the boiler.
At the time of our visit, the plant was in the midst of its expansion work. In addition to the existing two units (Unit 1 and Unit 2) in operation, Unit 3 and Unit 4 were under commissioning and adjustment toward start of operation in middle of October and early next year respectively. A CJP member told us that the expansion work is likely to be completed ahead of schedule. Knowing that delays over initial schedule are common in power plant construction projects, the reporters were very impressed with the progress.
The CJP staff, working in an inconvenient location and staying in a company housing facility apart from their families, told us that they enjoy the challenging and rewarding field work there, even though they miss their families, of course. Their smile made me believe that their passion must have been shared by our reporter group.
(From left) Takashi Nose, Yasushi Yoshida (Site General Manager), Shinji Yokota, Hiroto Kimura
On our way back, one of the reporters in our group noticed a durian stall. We enjoyed the taste and flavor of the tropical fruit.
The steam fed into the turbine reaches temperatures of up to 540 °C.
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