Today I was asked by operation director in my company. The questions were only three yet simple, but I totally can’t answer properly. The question was,
“What do you learn now?”
I think this is the first time someone in my company asked that question. People usually asks what is your job now? Or in what project are you involved? That’s very common.
I needed a second to find the answer. Then I answered, I kept concentrating on process. Honestly, I’m not sure that’s the right answer. I just need to answer right away.
The second question was
“What topic do you learn?”
I said I learn utilities (not all utilities of course. It’s just water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant, thermal oil heater, and fire fighting system).
The last question which is the most important
“Do you like learning utilities?”
I just said that was the only job left for me. I kept concentrating, doing, revising, finishing utilities of our current project. I made Piping & Instrumentation diagram, prepare engineering document (such as individual specification, requisition, and other).
I keep thinking about the last question. Sometimes, I want to ask: can we choose what we want to do? It is because we usually do what we need to do or what job left for us. I don’t say that’s good or bad. In my experience, in the beginning of the project I am involved in, I had difficulties to finish my jobs. It took several weeks for me to finish piping and instrumentation diagram. Not only that, I also found difficulties to make document, such as design basis for fire fighting system. And the last one, I felt it is not easy to select the appropriate vendor for our water treatment plant.
Then I learnt. We found difficulties, we learnt, then we solved them. That’s life. And when you solved them, you feel like a genius like Einstein. I felt that way.
I always remember this
It is hard to always do what you love because sometimes you need to do what you don’t love. But you can put love in everything you do.
That makes me strong until now as inexperienced engineer who wants to be a professional.
As already explained in previous post, design criteria is guideline values for designing new wastewater treatment facilities which is determined through research and laboratory scale model studies as well as operational experience. In this post I want to discuss more about the design criteria of wastewater treatment plant. It is important to note that the design calculations are usually based on certain assumptions. Hence, it is important to have a clear understanding about the concept of design criteria and the significance in determining capacities and dimensions and wastewater treatment units. Read More
After we discussed about water treatment plant, I want to share my new task about designing wastewater treatment plant. The explanation in this post will be quite simple and not really deep because I also still learn the fundamentals of designing water treatment plant. But after I discussed with one wastewater treatment plant vendor, I got more understanding about the plant and basic consideration in designing what equipment or process required in wastewater treatment plant. Read More
About two days ago, I had a short yet inspiring conversation with my boss about one alumnus who works as commissioner in waste water treatment plant company. He’s chemical engineering student from ITB class of 1995. My boss said that there was a tendency among chemical engineering alumni class of 1995 to develop their own business. Class of 1988 also did so.
Then I asked my self. I didn’t find the answer. My boss said the working tendency can see seen seven to ten years after I graduated. So I will find the answer in 2016-2019.
I sometimes imagine what kind of people I will be in the future? Will I be the same person as I am today? Will I still work as chemical engineering consultant? Or will I be someone totally different? I don’t know. But I do feel I will be totally different person in the future.
I will be working for one year in this company by next month. I still have one question in my mind: do I love what I do. I find it’s natural for someone to love and not to love some parts of their work. It also happens to me.
I also imagine if I were not working as chemical engineer, what would I do?
1. Full time blogger
I have been actively blogging since 2006 and I start to understand blogging and writing is part of my life. I had experience making money by writing (although it’s still amateur).
I keep writing and blogging after work hours to heal my self and find self enjoyment. I feel much better at work after fulfilling this hobby.
If I were not working as chemical engineer, I would like to be a teacher, especially elementary school teacher. I love kids and I love to develop them emotionally and intellectually. I realize sharing and develop people to be a better person is my passion. I feel like I have ability to explore someone’s personality and help them to accomplish their goals in life.
When I was a kid, I sometimes thinking I was born to learn in my whole life. I also imagined to have my own lab at home. When I pursued master degree, I realized working on lab excited me very much. I enjoy working overtime and dealing with microorganism, reading journals, and try new methods and see the results.
Energy security is a big concerns of almost every country. Most of countries, like Indonesia, relies on petroleum oil as main energy source. As a big population country, demand energy and resources will increase in Indonesia. In addition, the issue concerning climate change, pollution, and improving life quality for people encourage us to seek alternatives of fossil fuel.
Indonesia is facing a long-term problem: energy shortage. Dahlan Iskan (ex-CEO of State-owned Power Company, PLN) also admitted the country’ supply of electricity is very limited. PLN has encountered power shortages in 250 regions, including 243 location in eastern Indonesia (source). The reason of power shortage in some areas is due to inadequate transmission and distribution infrastructure (source).
Total energy consumption in Indonesia per capita remains low. In 2009 it reached 0.8 toe compared to world average of 1.8 toe (source).
Indonesia has a wide variety of energy resources, including fossil and non-fossil resources. The major energy resource fueling Indonesia’s economy is oil, providing 32% of total. Biomass came second with 27% particularly in the more remote areas that lack to Indonesia’s energy transmission network, while coal accounted 19% to fuel new power generation, gas for 18%, and primary electricity (hydroelectricity, geothermal) for 4% (source).
Electricity consumption per capita is very low and reached 570 kWh in 2009, compared with a world average of 2500 kWh. Energy consumption has increased by more than 8.5% per year since 1990, more rapidly than total energy consumption. It is due to the use of electricity in all sectors and the increase in the country’s electrification rate (source).
Net Importer of Oil
Indonesia is currently a net importer of crude oil and refined product. Indonesia is the only OPEC member (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) that is the net oil importer. Its oil production has declined over the years owing to ageing of oil fields and lack of investment in new equipment.
Indonesia is ranked eighth in world gas production with proven reserves of 108 trillion cubic feet in year 2010. This ranks eleventh in the world and the largest in Asia Pacific region. Gas reserves are equivalent to three times Indonesia’s oil reserves and can supply the country for 50 years at current production rate (source).
Clean Energy Regulatory Framework
The energy sector in Indonesia is dominated by four key policies and objectives:
Diversification: to reduce dependence on oil by expanding the use of coal, gas, and renewable energy resources
Rational energy pricing: no longer sustain uniform pricing for electricity and petroleum products across country, and it has begun to eliminate subsidies
Energy sector reform: the combination of decentralization of government decision-making to give greater involvement to regional authorities
Rural electrification: bring electricity to 90% of population by 2020
The energy law no. 30/2007 provides a renewed legal framework for the overall energy sector with emphasis on economic sustainability, energy security and environmental conservation. National Energy Council (DEN) was established under this law with the task:
formulating and implementing national energy policy
determining national energy general plan
planning steps to overcome any energy crisis or emergency (source)
The national energy policy is the overall management of energy and will address issues such as:
the availability of energy to meet the nation’s requirements
The basis of renewable energy development in Indonesia is Presidential Regulation No. 5/2006. It sets national energy targets for an optimal energy mix in 2025:
less than 20% from oil
more than 30% from gas
more than 33% from coal
more than 5% from biofuel
more than 5% from geothermal
more than 5% from other renewables, especially biomass, nuclear, micro-hydro, solar, and wind
more than 2% from liquefied coal
Potential of Renewable Energy Resources
Renewable energy resources have been largely unexploited due to the perceived high up-front cost and lack of infrastructure to match supply with demand (source).
Pressure Drop (kN/m2)
Viscosity < 1 mN s/m2
1-10 mN s/m2
Gas and Vapor
0.1 x abs pressure
0.5 x system gauge pressure
Above 10 bar
0.5 x system gauge pressure
Indonesia has significant geothermal reserves (around 40% of the world’s reserves) and the potential to produce 27,710 MW of electricity. However only 1,200 MW of power capacity has been built.
Based on the National Power General Plan and Presidential Regulation No. 5/2006 the contribution of renewable energy is to increase from its current 5% to 17% of the total energy consumption in 2025. Geothermal is expected to account for 5% of the contribution of renewable energy with a target 9,500 MW by 2025 (source).
Solar energy in Indonesia is quite large and reaches 4-5 kWh/m2, but the efficiency of solar photovoltaic cell has only reached 10%. Since investment cost of solar PV is very high although fuel cost is zero, the electricity generation from solar energy is less competitive compared to other energy. However solar energy in the form of solar home system will be utilized in remote areas where no other alternative sources for electricity generation (source).
Electricity generation potential from the roughly 150 Mt of biomass residues produced per year to be about 50 GW or equivalent to 470 GJ/year roughly (assuming the main source of biomass energy in Indonesia will be rice residues with a technical energy potential of 150 GJ.year, source). Other potential biomass sources are rubber wood residues (120 GJ/year), sugar mill residues (78 GJ/year), and palm oil residues (67 GJ/year).
Indonesia has abundant hydropower resources and has been successful in developing micro, mini, small, and large hydropower plants over the past decades. Small hydro potential is distributed around islands, can be developed as local energy resources especially in remote areas for rural independent power supply.