Friday, August 19, 2016

Toshiba to Continue to Support Indonesia's Energy Production

Jakarta. Toshiba has reaffirmed its stance and commitment to help the Indonesian government achieve its goal to ramp up electricity production and add 35 gigawatts to the national grid within the next five years, the company said at the "4th Indonesia Geothermal International Convention & Exhibition," in Jakarta on Wednesday (10/08).

“Toshiba has been supporting Indonesia for over 40 years and there are still so many ways to contribute, not only through energy solutions, but through the provision of infrastructure needed to support the rapid growth of Indonesia,” Toshiba Asia Pacific managing director, Tetsu Doko said.

Toshiba said that since 2011, it has been supplying and will continue to supply Indonesia with a combined capacity of up to 7,000 megawatts through 19 steam turbines units and 33 hydraulic turbine units.

Toshiba first acquired Envitech Perkasa, an engineering, procurement and construction company in 2011. To accelerate their goals, they established a local office in Indonesia in 2014.

Toshiba also revealed its plans to expand its network by acquiring more local companies to support Indonesia's geothermal power station projects.

(Jakarta Globe)

Usain Bolt bolt claims ninth career gold medal as Jamaica wins 4x100 relay

RIO DE JANEIRO — Usain Bolt told his Jamaica teammates he would “beat them up” if they failed to help him achieve his career target of nine Olympic golds in Friday’s 4x100-meter relay.
Bolt was almost certainly joking, but fortunately the prospect of any uncharacteristic acts of violence was taken completely out of the equation.
Jamiaca won in a time of 37.27 seconds, with Japan in second and Canada third after the United States was disqualified for an exchange zone infraction.
“I told the guys if it didn't happen tonight I would beat them up,” said Bolt, who now calls time on his Olympic career having won golds in the 100, 200 and relay at three consecutive Games. Asafa Powell, the former world-record holder but restricted to relay duty this time, kicked things off strongly, against American lead-off Mike Rodgers. Yohan Blake, fourth in the individual 100 and the silver medalist from 2012, matched up with Justin Gatlin and kept things even.

The third leg was key. Nickel Ashmeade had a disappointing Olympics under his own steam, but was pivotal. A weak link? Certainly not. Ashmeade rounded the top turn effortlessly and Tyson Gay, on his inside for the Americans, was unable to prevent him opening a small gap.

And then it was done. No way was the great man going to let it slip, not in his final race, not with destiny beckoning at the tips of those golden feet. You would have liked his chances of running down Trayvon Bromell with a five-meter deficit. A slight advantage? Forget about it.surged down the track like he has done so many times before, powering his way into Olympic history — and further into greatness.

"I am proud of myself and I have to say thanks to the guys,” Bolt said. “The pressure is real. I look at it as accomplishment. I live for these moments, it is beautiful and I came through. I'll go home, stay up late tonight talking and having fun. It is not real. It is a brilliant feeling. I am the greatest.”
Jamaica was too strong and victory was set up when Blake and Ashmeade first kept pace with and then pulled slightly away from Gatlin and Gay. Bolt had far too much for Bromell in the home straight.

“It was never in doubt,” Powell said. “We went out there very confident. We are a team and we love competing on the track. I love running with these guys. We are here to relax, we are very confident and we just want to get the stick in that man's hands.”

(USA Today)

Gold Medalist Liliyana Reveals Tontowi's Motivational Words During Finals

Jakarta. Liliyana Natsir, one half of the country's Olympic gold winning badminton mixed doubles side, on Wednesday (19/08) revealed the kind words shared by partner Tontowi Ahmad during the high stakes match.

"Upon entering the court I was nervous and in the beginning didn't play with composure. But as the game went on, I gradually became more relaxed and was able to keep the tempo and coordinate with Tontowi," she said, as reported by the Indonesian Badminton Association (PBSI).

The pair became unstable during the second set as the opponents forced the game 12-10. Liliyana said Tontowi boosted her morale.

"In the second set we had to attack to save the game. While in front, I needed to keep the shuttlecock lower but my opponent anticipated it, I then made a higher ball, it was out of control," she said.

"Then Tontowi came to me and said: 'No worries Cik [Liliyana's nickname], I'll back you up, in front you are better [than the opponent]."

The exchange between the gold-winning pair helped relax Liliyana.
Liliyana and Tontowi beat Malaysia's Goh Liu Ying and Chan Peng Soon by 21-14 and 21-12 in the final, winning Indonesia's first gold in badminton mixed doubles.

Jakarta Globe

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Lifter Sri Agustiani Seals Team Indonesia's First Medal at Rio Olympics

Jakarta/Rio de Janeiro. Team Indonesia sealed their first medal at the Rio 2016 Olympics, a silver for weightlifter Sri Wahyuni Agustiani in the women's 48 kilogram category on Sunday (07/08).

Sri lifted 192 kilograms in total to win the silver medal. The 21-year-old lifter failed twice to lift 115 kilograms in the clean and jerk to overtake Thailand’s Sopita Tanasan who won gold with a total lift of 200 kilograms.

Japanese lifter Hiromi Miyake won bronze after with a personal-best lift of 188 kilograms.

"I am very happy to get a silver medal just before my birthday," Sri said after the event at the Riocentro Arena, as reported by Antara.

Before the Olympics, Bandung-born Sri had already shown huge potentials after winning silver in the 2014 Asian Games and gold in the 2013 Sea Games.

Indonesian weightlifting team leader Alamsyah Wijaya said Sri improved in leaps and bounds during a national training camp in South Africa several months ago.

"I predicted then that Sri will get a medal in Rio. I saw how much she improved during the national training camp," Alamsyah said.

Youth and Sports Minister Imam Nahrawi, who witnessed the event live, congratulated Sri for her convincing performance, saying "Sri’s fighting spirit will inspire the other Indonesian athletes."

Jakarta Globe

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Rio Opens Olympic Games with Ode to Forests, Favelas and Funk

Rio de Janeiro. Brazil unfurled a vast canvas celebrating its rainforest and the creative energy of its wildly diverse population in welcoming the world on Friday to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, all to the pulsating beat of samba, bossa nova and funk.

Brazil's interim President Michel Temer declared open the first Games ever in South America. But in a display of the deep political divisions plaguing Brazil, he was jeered by some in the crowd at the famed Maracana soccer stadium.

The opening ceremony was decidedly simple and low-tech, a reflection of Brazil's tough economic times. In one of the world's most unequal societies, the spectacle celebrated the culture of the favelas, the slums that hang vertiginously above the renowned beaches of Rio and ring the Maracana.

There was no glossing over history either: from the arrival of the Portuguese and their conquest of the indigenous populations to the use of African slave labor for 400 years. The clash of cultures, as the ceremony showed, is what makes Brazil the complex mosaic that it is.

Home to the Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, Brazil used the ceremony to call on the 3 billion people watching the opening of the world's premiere sporting event to take care of the planet, plant seeds and protect the verdant land that Europeans found here five centuries ago.
Unlike the opening ceremonies in Beijing in 2008 and London 2012, a financially constrained 
Brazil had little choice but to put on a more "analogue" show, with minimal high-tech and a heavy dependence on the vast talent of Brazil and its Carnival party traditions.

While the Rio 2016 organizing committee has not said how much the ceremony cost, it is believed to be about half of the $42 million spent by London in 2012.

The show drew homegrown stars, like supermodel Gisele Bundchen, who walked across the stadium to the sound of bossa nova hit "Girl from Ipanema" and Paulinho da Viola, a samba songwriter who sang the national anthem with a string orchestra. Everyone performed for free.
Loud cheers erupted when Brazil's beloved pioneer of aviation Alberto Santos-Dumont was depicted taking off from the stadium and flying over modern-day Rio.

The joyful opening contrasted with months of turmoil and chaos, not only in the organization of the Olympics but across Brazil as it endures its worst economic recession in decades and a deep political crisis.

Temer, flanked by dozens of heads of state, played a minor role in the ceremony, speaking just a few words. The leader who was supposed to preside over the Games, President Dilma Rousseff, was suspended last May to face an impeachment trial and tweeted that she was "sad to not be at the party."

The $12 billion price tag to organize the Games has aggrieved many in the nation of 200 million and in Rio, where few can see the benefits of the spectacle or even afford to attend the Games.

Due to Brazil's most intense security operation ever, some among the 50,000 attendees faced two-hour-long lines as Brazil staged its most intense security operation ever.

People on the periphery

The creative minds behind the opening ceremony were determined to put on a show that would not offend a country in dire economic straits but would showcase the famously upbeat nature of Brazilians.

It started with the beginning of life itself in Brazil, and the population that formed in the vast forests and built their communal huts, the ocas.

The Portuguese bobbed to shore in boats, the African slaves rolled in on wheels and together they plowed through the forests and planted the seeds of modern Brazil.

"They're talking about slavery? Wow," said Bryan Hossy, a black Brazilian who watched the ceremony in a bar in Copacabana. "They have to talk about that. It's our story."
The mega-cities of Brazil formed in a dizzying video display as acrobats jumped from roof to roof of emerging buildings and then on to the steep favela that served as the front stage for the ceremony.

From the favela came Brazilian funk, a contemporary mash-up of 20th century rhythms, sung by stars Karol Conka and 12-year-old MC Soffia.

"This is a conquest. The people on the periphery are having an influence, it's a recognition of their art," said Eduardo Alves, director of social watchdog Observatorio de Favelas.

Before the entry of a few thousand of the 11,000 athletes that will be competing in the Games, the playful rhythms of the ceremony gave way to a sober message about climate change and rampant deforestation of the Amazon. Actresses Judi Dench and Fernanda Montenegro lent their voices for a classic poem about hope for the future.

Each athlete will be asked to plant seeds that will eventually grow into trees and be planted in the Athletes Forest in Rio in a few years.
Brazilian runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima lit the Olympic cauldron at the opening ceremony.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

India's Coal Shift a Double Whammy for Indonesian Exporters

New Delhi/Jakarta. For many coal miners in Indonesia's resource-dependent economy, a surprise shift in India's coal industry— from big importer to potential exporter — could not have come at a worse time.

Prices have slumped over the past five years and a slowing China is buying less. Now, Indonesia faces an Indian double whammy: not only is its main export market producing so much coal that it aims to wind down imports in two years, it's also set to start exporting for the first time — to a market dominated by Indonesia.

State-run Coal India is opening mines at the rate of one a month and expanding existing ones, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi fast-tracks environmental clearances to double output this decade and meet election promises to provide power to a population of 1.3 billion.
That dash for production has left Coal India with a stockpile of more than 50 million tonnes of mined coal, but domestic demand is rising more slowly than anticipated, prompting it to start talks to export to neighbouring Bangladesh.

Not so long ago, Indonesian coal executives brushed aside concerns about slowing sales to China, citing strong Indian demand - suggesting they have underestimated India's ability to quickly ramp up production.

"This is a threat to the Indonesian coal industry," said Supriatna Suhala, executive director of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (ICMA). "In future, we may have to compete with India. They may become an exporter to Asia."

"Dire trouble"

In Indonesia, the shift in Indian demand is most keenly felt among producers of low-quality coal in southern Sumatra, said Ben Lawson, chief operating officer of Sanaman Coal, which owns a small, unopened mine in the region.

"There's been a ton of closures in South Sumatra and Jambi [provinces] because that was all geared towards the Indian market," he said, noting many mines producing nearby are in "dire trouble".

This could trigger more mine closures on top of thousands already shut across Indonesia due to weak demand and prices, piling the pressure on President Joko Widodo and an economy where coal mining accounts for around 4 percent of GDP.

Even larger firms such as Adaro Energy, Berau Coal Energy and Bukit Asam may have to cut jobs and output once long-term supply contracts to India expire, analysts say - though they are better placed as they have lower mining costs, investments in other businesses like power generation and are able to supply the higher grade, low-ash coal that India's coastal plants rely on.

Price pressure

While Modi's manufacturing push could re-boot Indian demand, current production rates and stock levels signal that India, which has the world's fourth-largest coal reserves, is likely to become an exporter of thermal coal for power generation.

A switch by such a big buyer will keep the pressure on world thermal coal prices , which have picked up from decade lows in January but are still well below where they were five years ago.

Anil Swarup, the top civil servant in India's coal ministry, acknowledged the country's low-quality coal could be a tough sell, particularly as higher grades are available at such low prices. 

Nevertheless, he said Coal India was in talks with Bangladesh over price and the quality of coal to be sold, and he hoped to "see some action on the ground in three months."

Electricity-starved Bangladesh buys only around 3 million tonnes of coal a year, but consultancy Wood Mackenzie predicts demand could jump to as much as 15 million tonnes by 2020 as planned power plants worth at least $8 billion are built there with help from India and China.

Spoiled for choice

India's declining appetite for Indonesian coal is partly a result of low prices that have made higher calorific value coal available elsewhere more affordable.

"It's impacting all the major export markets because now the Indians are not at a loss for choice, and you can see that from month-to-month they just skip around from South Africa to Indonesia," said Lawson at Sanaman Coal.

Imports by India's coastal power plants, which are designed to use only high-grade imported coal, rose around 3 percent to 43.5 million tonnes in the year to end-March, according to mjunction, an online trading platform.

Overall, India's January-May coal imports fell 5.4 percent to 82.57 million metric tons, according to vessel-tracking data compiled by Thomson Reuters. Though Indonesia remained the top supplier, its sales to India fell by a fifth to 36.72 million metric tons, while shipments from South Africa increased by more than a quarter to 16.58 million metric tons.

Indonesia is now tapping other existing export markets, from South Korea and Taiwan to Japan, and may also target countries that don't have large coal resources, such as Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Vietnam.
It has also capped its production at 400 million tonnes and is fast-tracking power plant developments to use more domestic coal, said Suhala at the ICMA.

"Indian demand, the great savior from falling China demand, has turned out to be largely fictional," said Hans Lukiman, a small-scale Indonesian coal miner.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

BP to Go Ahead With $8b Indonesia LNG Project Expansion

Tokyo/Jakarta. BP gained final investment approval to an $8 billion expansion of the Tangguh liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Indonesia on Friday, clearing the way for a third train to start operations in 2020.

BP is going forward with expansion of Tangguh despite announcing it would rein back on spending this year due to weak oil prices. It also approved investment on an Egyptian gas field last week.

The investment will boost annual LNG production capacity at the Tangguh project in Indonesia's West Papua province by 50 percent to 11.4 million metric tons.

Three-quarters of the gas from the new Train 3 will be supplied to Indonesian power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara , BP said. The rest will go to Japan's Kansai Electric Power.

Officials at Indonesia's upstream energy regulator SKKMigas said the project was worth $8 billion, although BP declined to confirm that figure.

"We are finalising details with potential lenders and at this point I'm not able to disclose who they are," Christina Verchere, BP regional president Asia Pacific, told reporters.
In May BP cut its budget for the project to $8-10 billion from $12 billion.

"This final investment decision was made after confirmation with Tangguh production-sharing contractors and is based on commercial considerations," said Indonesian energy minister Sudirman Said.

BP leads the Tangguh project with a 37.16 percent stake. Its partners include MI Berau, China National Offshore Oil and a venture between Mitsubishi and Inpex.

Friday's decision also sealed a $2.43-billion onshore building contract for a consortium led by Tripatra, part of Indonesia's Indika Energy Group, SKKMigas chief Amien Sunaryadi said.
A $448-million offshore contract was awarded to the Indonesian unit of Saipem, he said.

"(These) are the contractors who did the front end engineering designs, so we hope the (results) aren't too different from that," Sunaryadi said.

Reuters, Jakarta Globe