The first unit of a Chinese funded power plant located in the western area of Sumatra Island, Indonesia generated electricity on Friday after it successfully connected with Indonesian power utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN).

The project was put out to tender in 2014. With a total investment of 361 million U.S. dollars, the project Tenaga Listrik Bengkulu (TLB) is jointly invested by the locally listed conglomerate PT Intraco Penta (INTA) and the state-owned giant Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina).

It has an installed capacity of 2×100 megawatts to help battle endemic electricity shortages and revive local economic growth

The construction of the project started on October 25, 2016. After completion, the project can supply around 1.4 gigawatt-hour (GWh) of electricity to Sumatra power grid annually through 150kV transmission line. The annual utilisation hours of the power plant is 7008 hours.

“The project will promote the rapid development of the local economy, especially creating opportunities for local industrial development and employment. It is a concrete demonstration of Chinese companies going global under the framework of the Belt & Road Initiative as well,” said Sheng Yuming, Chairman of PowerChina Resource, the overseas investment arm of PowerChina.

The project has provided 2,000 job positions for local people since its construction started, with over 100 more positions to be created in its commercial operation phase.

In addition, procurement of construction machinery and materials will bring about 40 million U.S. dollars in revenue to local enterprises. Nearly one million tons of coal will be purchased locally every year after it starts to generate electricity.

“It is one of the most important power plants in Indonesia. I hope it will provide energy for Bengkulu and Sumatra,” said Agus Joko Saptono, Sumatra Director, Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM). The Power Plant is set to start commercial operation in February 2020.