Sunseap-led consortium building plants to supply solar power to Singapore and Indonesia

28, Oct. 2021

A worker installing a solar panel for Sunseap Group, which leads a consortium to develop projects in the Riau islands and Batam to provide renewable energy to Indonesia and Singapore. (Photo: Sunseap)
A worker installing a solar panel for Sunseap Group, which leads a consortium to develop projects in the Riau islands and Batam to provide renewable energy to Indonesia and Singapore. (Photo: Sunseap)

By Celine Chen

SINGAPORE, NNA – Singapore's solar power player Sunseap Group has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with several local and international partners to develop several huge solar plants in the Riau islands in Indonesia to supply renewable energy to both countries.

Aiming for a combined capacity of 7 gigawatt-peak (GWp), the agreement also covers the previously announced 2.2GWp floating solar project in Duriangkang on Indonesia's Batam island, which faces the skyline of Singapore.

Islands in the Riau archipelago being considered for solar farming include Citlim and Combol. The plan is to pipe the low-carbon energy to Singapore via a new subsea power cable.

Among the consortium partners are Indonesia's PT Mustika Combol Indah and PT Agung Sedayu, Sumitomo Corp., Samsung C&T Corp., Oriens Asset Management and Durapower Group, said Sunseap in its Oct. 26 press release.

Although it did not reveal investment figures, they are believed to run into some billions of dollars.

Frank Phuan, co-founder and CEO of Sunseap, said, “This will be one of the most consequential clean energy projects for Singapore and Indonesia. By linking various solar islands to eventually create a 7 GWp system, we are able to further optimize the subsea cable, leading to reduced cost of transmission and hence bring more affordable low-carbon clean energy to everyone in Singapore and Indonesia."

This arrangement will also help establish neighboring Singapore and Batam as a joint clean energy gateway and hub in the ASEAN region, paving the way for the creation of an ASEAN green power grid, said Phuan.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities with energy storage systems are expected to provide 1 gigawatt (GW) of non-intermittent power supply to Singapore and Indonesia.

The consortium wants to be one of the key players supplying Singapore's needs and to fulfil 20-25 percent of its imports.

The country's Energy Market Authority (EMA) has given in-principle approval for a pilot project to import 100 megawatt (MW) of solar power from Indonesia to Singapore.

The project is part of a collaboration involving another group of companies. It includes Singapore-based power generation and electricity retail company PacificLight Power (PLP), Indonesian power producer Medco Power Indonesia and investment company Gallant Venture.

On Monday (Oct. 25), the three partners said they were already in advanced stages of developing a solar project on Bulan island, 2.5 km south-west of Batam.

The Energy Market Authority plans to have a total of 4 gigawatts (GW) of low-carbon electricity imported into Singapore by 2035 to meet about 30 percent of its expected electricity consumption.

Under its import proposals, the first stage will start with 1.2GW by 2027, while the additional 2.8GW will be imported by 2035.

The formation of the two consortiums has added to a growing number of companies planning to import renewable energy into Singapore as the country enters a clean energy transition.

Durapower, one of the members in the Sunseap-led consortium and a global leader in battery storage, is expected to help build the many energy storage facilities required to generate the 1 GW of non-intermittent low-carbon electricity in Singapore, said Sunseap in its press release.

With increasing supply of clean energy, the Riau islands will be able to launch various green initiatives for industries such as data centers and zero-carbon electronics production, added Sunseap.

The company is also exploring more areas around the Riau islands to boost overall capacity in future and further optimize the capacity of the subsea cable.

Members of the Sunseap-led consortium which plans to build solar plants in Riau islands and Batam after their MOU signing on Oct. 26, 2021. From left, Terence Ong, chairman of Oriens Asset Management; </p><p>
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</p><p>JW Kim, VP of Asia Pacific of regional office at Samsung C&T Corp; Frank Phuan, co-founder and Group CEO of Sunseap Group; Richard Kusuma, CEO of PT Agung Sedayu Group; Kelvin Lim, Group CEO of Durapower; Keigo Shiomi, CEO of Sumitomo Corporation Asia and Oceania Pte.Ltd; and Andri Wijono Sutiono, a director of PT Mustika Combol Indah.
Members of the Sunseap-led consortium which plans to build solar plants in Riau islands and Batam after their MOU signing on Oct. 26, 2021. From left, Terence Ong, chairman of Oriens Asset Management;

JW Kim, VP of Asia Pacific of regional office at Samsung C&T Corp; Frank Phuan, co-founder and Group CEO of Sunseap Group; Richard Kusuma, CEO of PT Agung Sedayu Group; Kelvin Lim, Group CEO of Durapower; Keigo Shiomi, CEO of Sumitomo Corporation Asia and Oceania Pte.Ltd; and Andri Wijono Sutiono, a director of PT Mustika Combol Indah.

In July, Sunseap signed an agreement with Badan Pengusahaan Batam (BP Batam) to build an enormous floating solar farm on Duriangkang reservoir in Batam. The project is estimated to cost around $2 billion.

Headquartered in Singapore, Sunseap is a solar energy system developer, owner and operator with over 2,000 megawatt-peak (MWp) of projects contracted across Asia.

The company also operates in other Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia, as well as in China, Taiwan and Japan.

It has installed solar facilities at more than 3,000 buildings in Singapore, including commercial and industrial buildings, and apartment blocks in public housing estates.

Under Singapore's Green Plan 2030, energy reset is one of its key goals.

The city-state will promote the use of sustainable fuels for international trade and travel, and increase solar deployment as it supports the transition towards a greener energy mix.

The country will also boost the efficiency of new-generation gas-fired power plants to reduce carbon emissions apart from relying on clean electricity imports.

Singapore aims to pioneer technological and policy solutions for sustainable development, playing a crucial role as a clean-tech hub and a testbed for the commercialisation of new green technologies for Southeast Asia and the world.

A report by Greenpeace released last December said the market for solar energy in Southeast Asia could be worth $125.1 billion over the next decade.

The region's demand for electricity will also need invested capital worth $48.1 billion for wind energy, and $32.6 billion for other renewable energy sources, the report added.