BERITABETA, Ambon - The government of New Zealand has confirmed in helping Maluku’s Provincial Government to develop renewable energy sector through New Zealand-Maluku Access to Renewable Energy Support (NZMATES) program.
The funding of NZMATES program will be disbursed with a total amount of NZD 10 million or equivalent to around 986 billion rupiahs and will be invested in Seram Island as program’s target area.
This commitment was conducted as a manifestation of celebrating 60 years of bilateral relations between Indonesia and New Zealand and was marked by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties which took place at Governor's Office, Wednesday (11/28/2018).
The Governor of Maluku, Said Assagaff, said that the local government is aware of the enormous electricity needs. The increasing of electricity needs is to improve economy of the community and increase the quality of basic services in education, health and energy security in the remote areas.
"Although the electrification ratio in Maluku has increased from 70.80 percent to 87.5 percent, it is still below the national average of 95.4 percent," he said.
He also added that nearly 20 percent of the population in Seram Island and surrounding islands, there are around 77 villages which still do not have access to electricity. This is because of Maluku’s dependence on fossil fuel in generating electricity, although the natural resources are abundant in this area.
Thus, the Governor of Maluku explained that the presence of New Zealand-Maluku Access to Renewable Energy Support (NZMATES) is quite promising for Maluku. The launch of this program was attended by New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia, Trevor Matheson. The same thing was also conveyed by Trevor that the government of New Zealand would provide fund of NZD 10 million to run the program until 2023.
The aim of this program is to support the development and implementation of renewable energy projects on Seram Island, especially hydro and solar power plant projects, as well as other power plants potentially powered by wind and biomass.
"NZMATES is a three-way partnership agreement between the government of New Zealand with the Director General of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and PLN (State Electricity Company)," he concluded.