President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said his government will electrify villages across Papua and West Papua provinces in 2018.
“I have instructed the Energy and Mineral Resources Minister [Ignasius Jonan], helped by PLN (state-owned electricity firm), to make all land in Papau bright in 2018,” Jokowi said in Nabire Regency, Papua on Wednesday when officiating the operation of the 50-megawatt (MW) feed gas-fired plant (PLTMG) and 20-MW PLTMG in Jayapura.
The President said that currently, about 3,000 villages across the country had not received electricity, 2,000 of which were villages in Papua.
Jokowi explained constructing electricity plants in Papua was more expensive than constructing the plants in other areas due to the geography of the two provinces, which were mostly mountainous.
However, the government will construct such infrastructure for the sake of social justice for people living in the provinces.
“I have been informed that electrifying one village in Papua requires Rp 2 billion (US$140,000), while in other areas, it only requires Rp 1 billion. But the cost is not an issue for the realization of social justice for all Indonesian people,” said the President in a statement issued on Thursday.
Jokowi also promised that his government would also push down the prices of fuels and basic commodities in the province and develop infrastructure such as roads, as well as improve the quality of healthcare facilities and education. (bbn)