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Moving Forward: Indonesia and Finland Plan to Improve The Transportation System and Energy Security

By the ayups

June 06, 2015

The bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Finland has entered a new phase of implementation.  Since the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Science, Technology and Higher Education in Helsinki, Finland, on 26 April 2015; many follow up activities have been conducted to materialize the commitment between two Countries. On Thursday (4/6/2015), the Indonesian Ministry of Research, Technology, and Higher Education (MRTHE) conducted a workshop on the issues of transportation system and energy security, especially on the topic on the electrical bus and power generation unit (PGU).

Secretary General Prof. Ainun Naim, Ph.D., which was accompanied by the Deputy Minister for Science and Technology Network, Dr. Agus R. Hoetman, opened the workshop and appreciated all of efforts from both sides in Indonesia and Finland, on encouraging the bilateral cooperation on STHE between two Countries. He acknowledges Finnish advanced technology, as well as excellent education system and believes that Indonesia and Finland could become excellent partners in coping with the global challenges. Moreover, he further mentioned that the process of restructuring the organization in the Ministry at present, should not affect the commitments expressed in the signed MoU and informed the audience that the new structure will be completed very soon.

Touching the energy sector, Secretary General Prof. Ainun Na’im Ph.D. shared his experiences when he held a position as the Director in PT PERTAMINA years ago. He also admitted that managing fuel for national energy security was a challenge, but always be his interest too in contributing solutions for the Country.  He stated that though Indonesia is blessed by having various sources of renewable energy, such as crude oil, coal, geothermal, wind, marine and solar energy; until now the energy security issue is still challenging.

In addition, Secretary General Ainun Na’im also informed the meeting that the Government of Indonesia always has plans to develop the national products, but there are also many regulations that strictly control the budget spending, procurement and hiring consultants.  However, despite all of those considerations, he still believes that the Ministry can manage the cooperation, so that Indonesia can meet expectations together with its International partners.

While in the transportation area, Secretary General Ainun Na’im acknowledges that Indonesia has  huge challenges due to the big number of population, a unique environment and a geographically condition, as Indonesia consists of thousands of islands. However, he is convinced that behind those challenges, big opportunities could also be created.  This statement closed his opening remarks; in add to his appreciations to all Finnish speakers, that were Dr. Kimmo Erkilla – CEO and Mr. Tom Granvik – CFO, Linkker eBus; Mr. Jukka Keski-oja, Director for PGU Divison, Nocart Oy and Mr. Juha Christensen, Senior Partner, SCS Consulting Ltd, as well as to Indonesian representatives from the MRTHE, the  Ministry of Transportation, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the Non Ministerial Research and Development Agencies ( BPPT, LIPI and BATAN), the Indonesian National Police, the Universities (UI, ITB), private sectors (PT Trans Jakarta, PT Beatrix, PT PINDAD, PT LEN and PT INTI).

Responding to the opening remarks, Mr. Juha Christensen as the Head of Finnish delegates, expressed his gratitude on the positive progress being achieved so far from the RI-Finland STHE relation. He further emphasized that Finland has a strong research and development (R&D) achievements and great education system. Therefore, during the workshop, he was proud to introduce three Finnish speakers from the 3rd new generation of the Linkker eBus and from PGU Division from Nocart Oy.

The plenary workshop was chaired by Nada DS Marsudi and it was started by the presentation on ‘The Way Forward of Electrical Bus (eBus) in Indonesia’ from Dr. Pariatmono, Deputy Minister for Science and Technology Empowerment, MRTHE. He described data and projection of domestic market of e-Bus in Indonesia from 1997 to 2015. Within that period, like other world Countries, Indonesia also experienced economic crises in 1998, which was followed by increasing fuel prices and inflation.  This condition, however, encouraged the Government of Indonesia to think out of the box by finding innovative solution.  One of the directives from the President RI in 2012, was that Indonesia should have electrical cars (eCars) in the future. This innovative solution, have been considered to minimize and to control the need of fuel for transportation.

Dr. Pariatmono then informed the meeting that the eCars National Program involves many stakeholders in Indonesia, including several top Universities (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Universitas Sebelas Maret, Institut Teknologi Bandung, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember, Universitas Indonesia), Non Ministerial R&D Agencies (BPPT, LIPI, BATAN), Industries (PT LEN, PT PINDAD, PT INKA), Individual Innovators of eCars production (Mario Rivaldi, Dasep Ahmadi, Ricky Elson, Danet Suryatama and Ravi Desai).  All of these stakeholders are supported by five main Ministerial actors, which are ‘The Ministry of Transportation” for giving permissions of the e-Cars; “the Ministry of Industry” for issuing vehicle identification number; “the National Police Office’ for providing permission for drivers and plate number identifications; “the Ministry of Public Works” for building road infrastructure; as well as “The Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education” for conducting research development and innovation, including assessment for using e-Cars as one of the road transportation vehicles.

Some issues that are still remained in the ‘wishes box’ or ‘dream list’ of Indonesian eCars include: (i) the need of massive research on battery, (ii) the national policies for electrical vehicle, (iii) the sufficient numbers of technical human resources, and (iv) the strategies of after sales services and public campaigns, in order to increase the awareness of the public as it is considered as introducing of new technology into the Indonesian culture. 

During the second plenary session of the Workshop, representatives from the Finnish Linkker eBus, Dr. Kimmo Erkkila (CEO) and Mr. Tom Granvik (CFO) presented their new technology (3rd Generation, 3rdGEN) of eBus.  The 3rdGEN of Linkker eBus is claimed as the newest and advanced technology in electrical bus.  Within the ten years of R&D experiences, Linkker eBus have finally achieved three beneficial advantages, which are the eBus  (i) is environmentally friendly with zero local emission; (ii) has considered as a very economical bus with low battery consumption, low charging cost, and it can be operated for 24 hours and 7 days; (iii) the eBus could attract passengers in using public transportation as it is low noise, having attractive design and comfortable.  

In supporting the Indonesian vision to have our own production in the future, the Linkker eBus promised for allowing transfer of technology, conducting joint venture and producing mass eBus production in Indonesia, which subject to some conditions that could be discussed later on.  Although there were many questions from Indonesian participants concerning the Linkker eBus reliability in Indonesian road-condition, especially in Jakarta with its extreme traffic congestion, the Linkker eBus representatives are still convinced that they could meet the Indonesian requirements, road constraints and many other concerns. Their message is very clear and convincing. 

During the afternoon parallel session that was chaired by DM Dr. Pariatmono,  all Indonesian participants listened to more detail explanation of the 3rdGEN of Linkker eBus, and having very fruitful discussion on all technological and financial aspects. The Finnish delegates promised to send an integrated proposal to the Government of Indonesia and the MRTHE will analyse and discuss it further with all Indonesian relevant stake holders soon.

The presentation of the Power Generation Unit (PGU) from Nocart Oy, was delivered by Mr. Jukka Keski-oja in the plenary session. He explained that the Nocart Oy is an environmentally conscious energy company, which uses multiple sources of energy in order to regulate or to arrange electricity production. Nocart Oy serves the global demand of energy in three levels: (a) PGU or Power Management Unit (PMU), (b) System and (c) Power. Nocart PGU and or PMU have been used globally all over the world, which are in some part of Europe (Finland, UK and Belgium), Canada, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria and Australia.

This PGU technology is proven and still can operate, even during the attacks of the earthquakes. Nocart Oy experienced it during recent Nepal earthquake. The PGU can stand up to some extent of the Richter scale. This PGU system and design, are potential to be applied in Indonesian remote islands that currently are very difficult to have access to electricity.  During the parallel session which was chaired by DM Dr. AR Hoetman, Mr. Jukka also highlighted that this PGU would be useful to regulate energy from the biomass and or waste material, for example in Lombok or in Bantargebang Bekasi.  BPPT researcher who joined the parallel session, also explained that in the future the cooperation could be explored more, as BPPT is conducting various renewable energy research at present, among others are geothermal, biomass, biofuel, bioethanol, marine current, solar and wind energy.

In conclusion, the workshop was conducted very successfully and further actions need to be urgently taken, for improving the transportation system and maintaining energy security in Indonesia  (TS/Dep3/Dep5/Humasristek/VI/2015).