Mitsui, Unsada kick off energy-independent E3i village project.

Darma Persada University postgraduate program director on renewable energy Kamaruddin Abdullah (center), accompanied by rector Dadang Solihin (second right) and energy, economic, environmental and independent (E3i) village project leader Rahedi Soegeng (left), explains the operation of a coffee bean drying machine at Tangsi Jaya hamlet, in West Bandung, West Java, on July 13. (JP/Arif Gunawan S.)

Mitsui Co. Ltd. and Darma Persada University (Unsada) have kicked off an energy, economic, environmental and independent (E3i) village project in Tangsi Jaya hamlet, West Bandung, West Java, one of their renewable energy development projects in Indonesia.

The two-year project will change the remote village in Gununghalu into a self-sustainable one in terms of energy and finances by utilizing an 18-kilowatt (KW) micro hydropower plant previously built by the government to further support their economy.

“In the past five years, the micro hydro power plant was only utilized during the night, and its potential was wasted during the day. Now the people can optimize the electricity to dry coffee beans during the day,” said Kamaruddin Abdullah, Unsada’s postgraduate program director on renewable energy, Thursday.

There are 85 households in Tangsi Jaya that make a living from agriculture, especially in growing coffee plants, with their brand Gununghalu Coffee receiving increased recognition. They produce around 500 kilograms of Arabica coffee per day from 20 hectares of plantation.

Unsada inaugurated the drying facility, equipped with drying machines, on Thursday with a Rp1.9 billion (US$142,863) grant provided by Mitsui, to increase the added value of their coffee output, Kamaruddin explained.

Next they will assist the people of Tangsi Jaya to further unlock the economic potential of the village, especially in developing the Gununghalu coffee supply-chain and ecotourism. “This is part of our dedication to making use of our academic knowledge to support local people and the economy,” said Unsada rector Dadang Solihin in a speech. (ags)

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