KPK smells irregularities in stunted electricity projects

The Jakarta Post – Jakarta. The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is smelling potential irregularities in the sluggish progress of 34 power plant projects that have cost the state Rp 4.94 trillion (US$377.75 million).

“Many of the projects are within our radar,” KPK chairman Agus Rahardjo said at the antigraft body’s headquarters on Thursday.

Agus added the commission had yet to receive an official report regarding the possible irregularities. However, it would continue giving close attention to the projects, he said.

The projects, launched during the administration of president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, have the potential to result in massive state losses. Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung cited last week a report released by the Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) showing that 12 of the 34 power plant projects cannot be continued and must be terminated.

The report also shows that the remaining projects require an additional Rp 7.25 trillion ($557 million) be able to continue.

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has expressed disappointment over the stalled projects and conveyed that he would submit a report to the KPK so it would investigate the cases.

Jokowi has pinned high hopes on the projects, which were initially expected to generate 7,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity, as he aims to provide an additional 35,000 MW to the country’s generation capacity by 2019. (fac/jun)