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Indonesia eyes nuclear power plants by 2015-min

Written by: Staff
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JAKARTA, May 15 (Reuters) Indonesia is considering theconstruction of nuclear power plants with a capacity of 1,000 megawatts (MW) by 2015 as part of a plan to avoid future electricity shortages, the energy minister said today.

Indonesia, the Asia Pacific's only OPEC member country, is tapping alternative sources of energy such as nuclear, coal and natural gas for power generation to cut its crude oil consumption amid soaring prices and dwindling reserves.

''According to our plan, we should have 1,000 MW by 2015 aspart of 4,000 MW (of nuclear power plants) that we plan to build,'' Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro told reporters.

''We believe nuclear energy will be cheaper compared with coal-fired power generators,'' Purnomo said.

''We are now preparing which technology we will use, whether from France, South Korea, Japan or the U.S.'' The Indonesian government has said it plans to speed up the construction of power plants to generate a total of 10,000 megawatts between 2006 and 2010, as the world's fourth most populous country tries to catch up with rising electricity demand.

Indonesia's state own electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara operates 21,700 MW capacity.

Indonesia has a small nuclear reactor for research purposes.

REUTERS SHB VC1857

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