Indonesia’s national utility group PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) is forming part of a team including representatives from the energy ministry, police, intelligence experts, and technicians, set up to investigate the causes of the recent power system collapse that saw tens of millions of people left without power.

Most areas had power restored within a few hours and police have already all but ruled out sabotage as a cause. Instead, efforts are focussed on a problem in the transmission network connecting Java with Bali, which then rippled out to hit major power plants on the two islands. A fault in the interconnection system between Saguling and Cilegon in West Java is thought to be the initial source of the problem after it caused two major power plants in West and East Java to trip.

However, identification of the specific culprit may be somewhat futile with rising demand and fragile, aging infrastructure the subject of concerns within the sector for some time.

Despite earlier comments suggesting otherwise, Eddie Widiono, president of PLN, has questioned whether the company will pay compensation for losses arising from the disruption on the grounds that the blackout did not affect the level of service. “We see no legal basis for reducing customers’ bills,” he is reported to have said, referring to standards that allow significant disruption to the power system.

In other news, the cash-strapped utility has signed a heads of agreement to buy flare gas from Tuban oil block in a bid to reduce dependence on imported oil products. At $1.1 per MMBTU, the deal will see 5-7 million metric cubic feet per day supplied to PLN starting next year, replacing up to 55,000 kiloliters of diesel per year.

The move comes amid soaring oil prices that are expected to push the company into a loss this year with a significant chunk of its 27 GW of installed capacity fired with oil or diesel.