Indonesia will start the construction of a 1.6 billion USD geothermal power plant - set to be the biggest in the world - next year after decades of delay, according to the newly-appointed Indonesian Coordinating Economic Minister Chairul Tanjung.

The plant, located in Sarulla, North Sumatra province, has a capacity of generating 330 MW of power.

Invested by Indonesian Medco Power company, the plant will play an important role in the country’s plan to increase its power supply to about 60 GW by 2022, said Chairul.

Medco Power President Fazil Alfitri said the field work for the mega-project would begin in early 2015, about 22 years after the project was first initiated.

At least 30 geothermal projects have been delayed due to problems related to land acquisition and permit issuance, leaving most of the country’s geothermal resources untapped.

Apart from Medco, some foreign partners will be involved in the implementation of the project, including Itochu Corporation and Kyushu Electric Power Co. of Japan and Ormat International Inc from the US , said Fazil.

A financial deal enables the project to draw 1.17 billion USD from a consortium of financial institutions, which comprise the Japan Bank for International Cooperation, the Asian Development Bank, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd., ING Bank NV, Mizuho Bank Ltd., the National Australia Bank, Société Générale SA and the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, he said.

The project was resumed in 2000 when negotiations on costs started, but no agreements were ever reached.-VNA