A lot of most geothermal spots in the world are taboo for development of power project, while in many spots of the world geothermal development actually can create opportunities to develop tourism.
In Iceland, the Blue Lagoon is a good example … while nobody knows that it was created by an accident at the nearby geothermal power plant. But an actual geothermal power plant in the country has also become a tourist destination in itself.
So it is not surprising that Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE) in Indonesia is looking into utilising its geothermal activities beyond steam and power generation.
Local news now report, that Indonesia’s Tourism Ministry is coordinating with Pertamina to support the development of geothermal tourism in the operational areas of geothermal energy production.
An MoU was signed between the Ministry and PGE at a recent national tourism coordination meeting in Jakarta and there are big hopes that geothermal sites in the county could not only generate electricity but also become tourist destinations.
“Indonesia, with its volcanoes and the geothermal areas, can potentially be a tourist attraction. However, the geothermal resources are only known as a source of green energy here, where it actually has a direct use in the tourism sector,” President Director of PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy Irfan Zainuddin said.
Irfan said several countries have adopted the utilization of geothermal operation area into tourist attractions, namely Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, and a number of European countries.
The PGE has started a geothermal tourism trial project in a village in Kamojang, West Java. Similar program will also be applied to other PGE operational areas, such as in Lahendong, North Sulawesi; and in Ulubelu, Lampung.
He surely hopes the MoU would support the development of geothermal tourism in various regions in Indonesia.
PGE has 12 geothermal operational areas with a total capacity of 532 MW which is produced from four areas in Kamojang (West Java), Ulubelu (Lampung), Lahendong (North Sulawesi), and Sibayak (North Sumatera).