Pertamina Energy Forum 2018 Government Appreciates Pertamina's Efforts for DME Production to Lowering Import

JAKARTA - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan urged  all businessmen to increase the production of new and renewable energy by utilizing the existing reserves. This step is needed to reduce oil and gas imports dan lowering the current account deficit (CAD), which currently has reached the highest limit of the government targets.

"There is a problem with our CAD and we need to pay attention on this issue cause this year will be closed nearly to US$28 billion, while last year's realization was $17.5 billion. If we purify and use local content, our CAD can be single digit in 2019," he said when give a remarks at the 2018 Pertamina Energi Forum (PEF) on Thursday (11/29/2018).

Panjaitan added, if Indonesia could implemented biodiesel 20 percent (B20) and other programs, the government would be able to save import costs up to $10 billion. As we know, the government is currently developing lithium batteries in the Morowali Special Economic Zone, Central Sulawesi with an investment of $4 billion, as part of the government effort to reduce CAD.

This project is targeted to be completed in a year and will be the largest producer of lithium batteries in the world.

Then, the government also developed diversified coal into dimethyl ether (DME) as an alternative liquid petroleum gas (LPG) replacement due to increased of the raw materials import. In addition, the government will encourage electric car production to diminish the use of fossil fuels.

In line with Panjaitan, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan, said the government continues to encourage the development of new and renewable energy in Indonesia and appreciated the initiation of the synergies between state-owned enterprises in developing new renewable energy project in Indonesia.

"Thank you to Pertamina for cooperating with Bukit Asam to produce DME in Indonesia," he said.

As known, Pertamina and PT Bukit Asam Tbk (PTBA) have signed an agreement to develop DME in Indonesia and collaborate with an American company, Air Products. This collaboration aims to increase the value added of Indonesian coal into DME and synthetic natural gas (SNG), in Allentown, United States.

Pertamina's cooperation with Bukit Asam and Air Products is one of strategic stepped for all parties, to improve resilience, independence and national energy sovereignty, through the use of DME and SNG. Recently, around 70 percent of LPG is still imported. Meanwhile in 2017 Indonesia consumed no less than 7 million tons of LPG. This coal gasification plant is a very strategic project nationally.

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