Monday, December 5, 2016

1) Yahukimo residents pleased over new flight route

2) PLN working to end blackouts in North Sulawesi, Papua

3) Indonesia takes new step to combat loss of forests, fires


1) Yahukimo residents pleased over new flight route

Nethy Dharma Somba The Jakarta Post
Jayapura | Tue, December 6 2016 | 08:53 am

People in Yahukimo, a remote regency in Papua, have hailed the opening of a new commercial flight route that connects the regency’s capital, Dekai, to Jayapura, the capital of the Papua province.

Wings Air, a subsidiary of the country’s largest domestic flight operator, Lion Air, opened the Jayapura-Dekai route on Nov. 30, following the inauguration of Dekai’s Nop Goliat Airport by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Oct. 18.

Yahukimo Regent Abock Busup said the people in the mountainous regency had hoped to have more flights connecting the area with other cities in the province.

“We really appreciate Wings Air for opening the route, but Yahukimo residents need larger planes. Two weeks ago, the Nop Goliat Airport head and I talked with Transportation Minister [Budi Karya Sumadi] to see if flights to and from Dekai could use jet-powered planes, such as a Boeing B737,” he told reporters in Jayapura recently.

Wings Air, which operates short domestic routes, flies French-Italian made ATR 72-600 planes for the route, which can accommodate up to 72 passengers.

For the Jayapura-Dekai flight, a plane departs daily from Sentani Airport in Jayapura at 1:30 p.m. and from Nop Goliat at 2:45 p.m.

With a flight duration time of only 50 minutes, tickets for the flight range from Rp 900,000 (US$67) to Rp 920,000.

Lion Air’s Papua regional manager Agung Setio Wibowo said demand for the route was high.

According to him, Wings Air planned the route during the day because it would help passengers who have connecting flights to and from other areas.

“It will help passengers coming from cities other than Jayapura, such as Merauke, Wamena and Makassar, so they won’t have to spend a night in Jayapura before flying to Dekai,” he said.

He added that Wings Air had supported the government’s priority to develop remote regions.

“Why shouldn’t we fly to Dekai? Even the presidential aircraft can land at the airport,” he said.

During his visit to Yahukimo in October, Jokowi also launched the government’s one-price fuel program for people in the region.

Agung added that Wings Air had also planned to open a new route connecting Dekai and Timika by the end of this year.

Nop Goliat Airport head Joko Harjani said the new daily route had significantly helped ease the load of the airport.

Previously, passengers flying between Jayapura and Dekai were only served by Trigana Air, which also operates ATR aircraft.

A Dekai resident, Dian, said she was pleased with the new route.

“Before, we had to be on a waiting list to get a flight to or from Dekai. It could take up to a week before a flight was available,” she explained.


2) PLN working to end blackouts in North Sulawesi, Papua
Lita Aruperes and Nethy Dharma Somba
Manado/Jayapura | Tue, December 6 2016 | 08:56 am

Blackouts that lasted nearly a full day in Kombi district, Minahasa regency, North Sulawesi, disrupted daily activities and cut off communications for people living in several villages along Lake Tondano.

The blackouts began on Saturday at around 5 p.m. and the power 
did not resume until around the same time the next day, said local resident Yannemieke Singal on Sunday evening.

State-electricity company PLN did not provide much information regarding the blackout, she said, adding that it took more than six hours for the company to respond to her complaint.

North Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo (Suluttenggo) PLN spokesman Jantje Rau said the power disruption in Kombi district was the result of a disconnected line.

“Our workers met difficulties because of the rough terrain in the forest, so it will take a long time to locate the severed cable,” said Jantje.

PLN could also no provide information to customers because of the difficulties accessing the area. “So, we were late in conveying the information,” said Jantje.

In an effort to speed up the restoration of the North Sulawesi-Gorontalo power network, PLN has flown in parts of an emergency tower from Makassar, South Sulawesi, by means of an Air Force Hercules cargo aircraft, which arrived at Gorontalo’s Djalaluddin Airport at 11:47 a.m on Monday.

Jantje said the emergency tower was hauled by three low-bed container trucks to the location where the No. 6 high-voltage line tower collapsed. PLN expects the broken power system will be restored later this week.

Meanwhile, PLN’s Papua and West Papua office has brought in seven 4-megawatt power generators to deal with the ongoing power crisis, which has taken place for the past two months in Jayapura. 

The generators arrived at Jayapura Port on Monday and will be installed at the Waena diesel power plant (PLTD). 

“This is part of our efforts to prepare and maintain power supplies ahead of the Christmas holiday by adding around 4 MW of power. The Orya hydroelectric power plant [PLTA] and Halltekamp steam power plant [PLTU] are still being renovated,” said PLN’s Papua and West Papua region technical manager PPL Tobing.

Tobing said the seven generators and two fuel tanks were brought in from Surabaya, East Java, and had already been transported to the Waena power plant, which would later connect power to the Jayapura power system.

“The generators will not be immediately in operation as they will take 15 days to prepare and then linked to the Jayapura power system. We expect power will not be disrupted over Christmas and power outages will no longer occur,” said Tobing.

PLN’s Jayapura regional office has been experiencing a deficit of between 10 and 15 MW and has had to impose rotating blackouts for up to six hours daily.

“When will this end? The blackouts take place every day. If a blackout occurs in the morning, power will only resume later in the day,” lamented Sari, a housewife.

Papua provincial council Commission IV member Yan Mandenas said he would push for the central government’s help in overcoming the power crisis in Jayapura. 

He expected that Papua would have better power facilities following the inauguration of six electricity projects in Papua and West Papua by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in October


3) Indonesia takes new step to combat loss of forests, fires

Indonesia is expanding its moratorium on converting peat swamps to plantations to help prevent disastrous annual fires and cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions

December 6, 2016 2:02 AM
By STEPHEN WRIGHT Associated Press

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — Indonesia has strengthened its moratorium on converting peat swamps to plantations in a move a conservation research group says would prevent annual fires and substantially cut the country’s carbon emissions if properly implemented.
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s amendment to the moratorium regulation, which was issued on Monday, expands it to cover peatlands of any depth and orders companies to restore areas they’ve degraded.
Indonesia’s move was welcomed by Norway, which in 2010 pledged $1 billion to help the country stop cutting down its prized tropical forests but has released little of it. As a result of the expanded regulation, Norway said it would give $25 million to Indonesia to fund restoration of drained peatlands and another $25 million once an enforcement and monitoring plan is ready.
Draining of peat swamps by plantation and pulp wood companies is a major contributor to destruction of tropical forests in Indonesia and the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. It worsens annual fires that release huge amounts of carbon stored in the peat. A study in the journal Nature Climate Change estimated that by 2012, Indonesia was clearing 840,000 hectares (2 million acres) of forests a year, more than any other country.
Arief Wijaya, a forests expert at the World Resources Institute, said Tuesday that the strengthened moratorium is particularly important for protecting Indonesia’s Papua region as the “last frontier of natural forests” still largely untouched by exploitation.
Deforestation is far advanced on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and worsening in Kalimantan, which is the Indonesian part of Borneo.
The institute estimates Indonesia could achieve a 7.8 gigaton reduction in carbon emissions over 15 years, which is equivalent to about one year of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Wijaya said that in practice the amended regulation means companies such as Asia Pulp & Paper are prohibited from expanding their use of peatlands, even if they are within their concessions. They also must rehabilitate drained peatlands.
Last month, the company was criticized by Indonesia’s Peatland Restoration Agency which released photos showing one of its suppliers in South Sumatra was replanting peatlands which burned in last year’s dry season fires and were supposed to be restored.
First Published December 6, 2016 12:00 AM

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