South Korea offers Indonesia to build nuclear power stations

South Korea has offered to help Indonesia develop nuclear and geothermal power stations to meet its energy needs, visiting Foreign Minister Ban Ki-moon said Monday. South Korea's experience of building and operating 20 nuclear power stations would benefit Indonesia, Ban said in a joint press conference with his Indonesian counterpart, Hassan Wirajuda.

"We are the country with high-tech technology and know-how in this area," he said. Ban, however, did not elaborate on possible energy cooperation. Meanwhile, Wirajuda said South Korea offered Indonesia the development of nuclear and geothermal energy, including the development of electricity.

Indonesia's electrical power utility, PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, is facing severe challenges in meeting rising demand due to a lack of investment in infrastructure since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis. The state-run company, known as PLN, has a razor-thin excess capacity on the grid that powers Indonesia's main island of Java and Bali, causing service disruptions when power stations go off line for routine maintenance.

Media reports said PLN was considering a bond offer to help finance up to US$11 billion (  9.09 billion) in new power plants that will help to add 3,300 megawatts of generating capacity to the state grid by 2009.


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