ABB Swedish-Swiss expanding operations in Indonesia

Swedish-Swiss multinational technology company ABB is expanding its operation in Indonesia by building a new high voltage gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) manufacturing facility in Tangerang, Banten.

The 1,000-square-meter facility, which was inaugurated by Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto on Tuesday, is designed to produce 170 kilovolts of gas-fueled electrical panels used to distribute electricity from power plants to end users such as plants, factories, housing complexes and commercial districts.

ABB Indonesia country managing director Michel Burtin said the facility was the fourth plant the company had opened in the past three years as part of a US$30 million investment plan.

The first plant was opened in Cibitung, West Java in 2009, and produces miniature circuit breakers. It later added another line in Tangerang and built a medium voltage panel plant in 2015, followed by the high voltage air insulated switchgear plant development in 2017.

The president of ABB’s power grids division Claudio Facchin, said the plant was designed to meet the country’s GIS needs.

“During the early stages of operation, the plant is expected to fulfill around a third of Indonesia’s GIS demand,” Facchin told The Jakarta Post.

Airlangga said in his speech at the inauguration that the GIS demand in Indonesia was expected to rise as the country was working to achieve a power capacity of 35 gigawatts and 46,000 kilometers of network transmission by 2019. He said the demand could reach 150 sets annually.

ABB Indonesia’s vice president and head of sales and marketing of the power grids division, Chandan Singh, said the company received an order of 76 units of GIS from state-owned electricity company PLN in April, and was expected to finish the order by the end of this year.

Despite the plant’s low current production capacity, Facchin said the company was committed to increasing its capacity as Indonesia’s demand for electricity was expected to grow at around 6.9 percent per year.

He also said it was possible for the plant to have its products exported to meet global demand.

Airlangga applauded the company’s effort to build its plant in Indonesia, as it would not only boost the country’s industry, investment and jobs, but it could also help local industry as the ministry requires every power infrastructure development in the country to source a portion of its components locally.

A 2012 industry ministerial regulation on local content in electrical infrastructure development stipulates that power plants and supporting electrical components are required to include a portion of local content in order to boost the nation’s industry and economy.

“By establishing this plant here in Indonesia, ABB is enabling the local manufacturing industry to contribute more to the national GIS demand,” Airlangga said.

Facchin said the GIS produced in ABB’s plant in Tangerang would contain around 25 percent local content for its components, surpassing the ministry’s requirement of at least 14.27 percent local content for high voltage GIS.

The Jakarta Post

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