Japan’s Inpex has announced the start commercial operations of the first unit of the 330MW Sarulla geothermal project in Indonesia.

Located in Sarulla, North Sumatra Province, the project is operated by Sarulla Operations and will have three units, each of 110MW.

Indonesian state-owned electric utility, Perusahaan Listrik Negara had agreed to buy the power generated from Sarulla’s first unit for a period of 30 years.

Apart from Sarulla Operations, the geothermal power project is developed by the subsidiaries of Japanese, Indonesian and American companies that include Medco Power Indonesia, Inpex, Itochu, Kyushu Electric Power, Ormat Technologies and Toshiba.

According to the project’s 49% stakeholder, Inpex, the Sarulla power plant is the largest single-contract geothermal power project in the world.

The geothermal power plant which combines flash and binary technologies for its operations broke ground in 2014. Construction of the first unit was completed in October last year.

While Toshiba provided the geothermal steam turbines and generators (STGs) for the flash systems, Ormat handled the conceptual design of the geothermal combined cycle unit (GCCU) power plant and also delivered its Ormat Energy Converter (OEC).

Ormat CEO Isaac Angel said: “We continue to share our expertise as work continues on the second and third units of the Sarulla project that are expected to come on line by 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“Ormat’s proven GCCU technology, which was also utilized in the Sarulla reservoir, will assure optimal and sustainable utilization of the resource to deliver to Indonesia clean, cost effective and baseload capacity.”

The partners plan to continue with construction activities of the second and third units of the geothermal power project. While the second unit is expected to break ground this year, the third unit’s construction will begin next year.

Image: Sarulla Geothermal Power Plant. Photo: courtesy of Ormat Technologies, Inc./ GlobeNewswire, Inc.