ADB vows two-fold funding support for Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Photo by Flickr

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has committed to double its funding subsidy to Indonesia in a bid to support its economic recovery amid the global pandemic.

The Manila-based lender usually lends up to $2 billion yearly to Indonesia but the amount was expected to double in future borrowings, according to a report by Jakarta Post quoting ADB country director Winfried Wicklein.

“But now, with COVID-19 (coronavirus disease-2019), we are stepping up in our support and will more than double it this year,” he was quoted as saying said during an online seminar held by state-owned geothermal energy company PT Geo Dipa Energi and infrastructure financing guarantee agency PT Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia (PII) on Wednesday.

At the same meeting, Wicklein also called on the Indonesian government to invest more in renewable energy as part of the country’s economic recovery plans.

In particular, the lender was supportive of geothermal power investments which it considered ideal to spur even growth across the archipelago.

It can be learned that late in May, state-owned geothermal energy company PT Geo Dipa Energi (GDE) secured some $300 million from ADB to expand its investments in geothermal power generation capacity.

ADB said the company has received an additional $35 million from Clean Technology Fund for the project that is managed also by ADB.

“Geothermal will not only help build back greener but it also comes with a very high job multiplier compared to conventional sources of energy,” said Wicklein.

ADB joined forces with a list of organizations, including Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) and Jakarta-based Institute for Essential Services Reform (IESR), to explicitly call for the Indonesian government to invest in a green economic recovery.

At present, Indonesia holds the world’s largest known geothermal reserves, but only harnessed 8.9 percent of its total 23.9 gigawatts of geothermal potential last year, according to the report.