Enhancing Knowledge in Reviewing Bioenergy Projects

2 Maret 2019

Among the highlights of the recent training on bioenergy feasibility studies review for staff of the State Electricity Company’ (PLN) regional offices were the Bioenergy Feasibility Study Review Guidelines that USAID ICED II developed for PLN, and feedstock for bioenergy power projects.

Regarding the review guidelines, most participants were eager to find out more about scoring key aspects to determine project feasibility. The participants suggested the scoring tools to be improved by adding reference system or history to simplify the search process. They hoped the review guidelines would be available online for more efficient review process.

In terms of the bioenergy project feedstock, many participants were keen to know how project developers address the challenges in providing stable supply of feedstock (fuel) for bioenergy power projects. The source of feedstock, especially wood, has become a concern as it needs to be legally-sourced and in sufficient quantity to power the bioenergy project for the life of its Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).  A PPA contract can be up to 30 years.

Bioenergy power projects can obtain feedstock from associated production forest or palm oil plantation and processing waste or through a long-term feedstock supply agreement with third parties. The bioenergy project feasibility study needs to demonstrate the continuous availability of the feedstock source to avoid supply shortages that will translate to power plant outages or reduced production.

Participants from PLN offices in West Nusa Tenggara, Bali, West Kalimantan, South and West Sulawesi, Banten, East Java and East Nusa Tenggara, took part in the three-day workshop in Pontianak, West Kalimantan. During the training, many participants asked critical questions and appreciated the new knowledge they gained.

“We’ve been wondering about feasibility study, how to evaluate the study and how long it takes to design one. Through this workshop, I learned that it takes a lot of time to produce a proper feasibility study,” said a participant from PLN West Kalimantan.

Other participants expressed their struggle in reviewing bioenergy proposals because they did not know where to begin. “This workshop really opens my perspective about reviewing feasibility study.  For the next step, I will use the tools that ICED II taught,” said a participant from PLN headquarters.