Micro-Hydro Project Funds Training Center in Thailand

Hydro-power is doing more than bringing electricity to Cinta Mekar in Thailand. Dignitaries and government officials helped to lay the foundation stone for the first Pro-Poor Public Private Partnership (5P) Resource and Training Center in Cinta Mekar, which was made possible partly because of electricity sales from the micro-hydro project.

Co-financed by a private company, Hidropiranti Inti Bakti Swadaya (HIBS), and local rural cooperative Cinta Mekar, with support from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the plant generates electricity that is sold at a profitable price to the State-run National Electricity Corporation (PLN). Each month the power plant generates about 54,000 kWh of electricity, with a gross monthly income of approximately 31 million Indonesian rupiahs (US$3,300). The revenues are shared equally between the community and the private sector. Kim Hak-Su, who is the executive secretary of the Bangkok-based United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), noted that the training facility was the first of its kind for 5P in the world. “The model developed and tested in Cinta Mekar has already positioned itself as one of the success cases for further replication in Indonesia and elsewhere in the region,” he said. “Now it is time to share this model widely in Indonesia and other countries of the Asian and Pacific region.” The Cinta Mekar Micro Hydro-Power Plant was initiated in 2003 to promote rural electrification in a sustainable way, and is the brainchild of UNESCAP. It brings together partnerships among the private sector, national and local governments, and the local community. The project is a follow-up of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2002. It was made possible by the generous financial support of the Royal Government of the Netherlands. “This project promotes the use of micro hydro-power, a clean and renewable source of electricity, that is friendly to the environment,” Kim said. “The importance of making the process of electricity generation eco-friendly cannot be overemphasized and is the only way to ensure the long-term sustainability of all energy-related projects.”
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