Home ECONOMY Government Builds Solar-Powered Ice Block-Making Facility in NTT

Government Builds Solar-Powered Ice Block-Making Facility in NTT

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Government Builds Solar-Powered Ice Block-Making Facility in NTT

Jakarta, Timerilis.com – The Directorate General of New, Renewable and Energy Conservation (Ditjen EBTKE) is working with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as well as private sector collaboration and local investors to build a solar ice maker facility located in Sulamu, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).

As an archipelago with a vast water area, Indonesia is one of the largest fish-producing countries in the world. Data from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries recorded that more than 1.2 million tons of fish were exported in 2021.

However, behind a large number of exports, Indonesia’s fisheries sector has suffered a lot of losses. One of the factors is the inadequate availability of electricity and cold chain access in coastal areas. Maintaining the quality of the catch becomes difficult for small-scale fisheries with traditional refrigeration options.

As one of the solutions to this challenge, entirely using solar power and a small battery system, the solar ice maker in Sulamu can produce up to 1 ton of ice blocks per day. It also uses R290 natural refrigerant, making it 100 percent carbon emission-free.

Before this facility, to maintain the quality of their daily catch, local fishermen in Sulamu had to take their block ice supply from Kupang by sea for at least half an hour. According to data from NTT’s Central Bureau of Statistics, Sulamu’s potential fish production is above 1,000 tons, of which more than half has deteriorated or been wasted due to poor storage.

The presence of the solar ice maker is also a source of supply of quality block ice, with a higher level of durability than home-produced plastic ice, which has been one of the main cooling options for fishermen in Sulamu.

Director of Various New and Renewable Energy Andriah Feby Misna said that the location of the solar ice maker facility, which is relatively easy to reach compared to the location of the ice block factory in Kupang, allows fishermen to save on operational costs. It directly contributes to the reduction in the use of ship fuel sourced from fossil energy.

“With the solar ice maker that we built by utilizing solar power, we can make ice blocks that can preserve the production of fish caught by fishermen and have a positive impact on improving the economy of the community in the Sulamu area,” Andriah said, quoted on Wednesday (2/8/2023).

The solar ice maker in Sulamu has been officially operating since May 2022 and as a follow-up, a socio-economic impact assessment was conducted to see the role and contribution of the solar ice maker facility for local fishermen.

Representing the Assessment Team from Nusa Cendana University Kupang, Petrus Andung said that the solar ice maker contributes to improving cold chain access, allowing local fishermen to obtain block ice easier, faster, and cheaper.

“With the reduced cost of spending on ice procurement, it becomes additional funds for me to do other businesses by selling seaweed and selling fish at retail,” said Arman Langanpa, who works as a fisherman and fish seller.

The solar ice maker facility has also opened up new job opportunities for residents, including as an ice plant operator. In addition, the presence of the solar ice maker facility also opened up new business opportunities. (Eva/Rd)