Monday, April 13, 2009

Electricity Supply crisis

Karimun Island has been experiencing an electricity supply crisis for over 4 years. Rolling blackouts are a nightly affair and things are not getting better. Most hotels have to use their onsite power generator (genset)to get by. This is not a good sign for FTZ investors which requires a reliable source of electricity.

For the residents of Tg. Balai, the main town of Karimun Island, it is a huge disruption on their lives. Most businesses that open at night like hotels, nightclubs, ktvs, restaurants, shops need to run their gensets in order to survive.

The average length of the rolling blackout is around 4-6 hours. They mostly happen at night when the usage rises. PLN (the electric supplier) will shut down supply to areas on a rotational basis. The locals will say "mati lampu" (lights out or blackout) when this happen.

Most home owners will not have gensets and have to rely on battery powered backup lamps. So this means that TVs, PCs and sound systems will not be operational. Another problem that arises from the blackouts is that when the power comes back on, the voltage is not stable and a lot of electrical devices have been damaged by power surges.

Some hotels have better gensets than others. The good ones will kick in almost immediately, whereas others may take a few minutes to start up. The authorities really have to do something about this problem if they want Karimun Island to progress.

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