New Pertamina boss to focus on refinery development
The Jakarta Post
Newly appointed president director of state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina, Nicke Widyawati, has promised to speed up the development of oil refineries in a number of places to try to boost the country’s fuel production and to pay attention to a number of upstream projects.
She said the immediate target was the development of refineries in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, followed by those in Cilacap, Central Java.
“I will focus on what assignments I have received. […] I will fulfill my duty to the public,” said Nicke in Jakarta on Wednesday during a press conference organized by the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry to announce her appointment.
She said she would also pay attention to a number of upstream projects of the energy giant that have been granted by the government due to ends of operatorship contracts between the government and multinational oil companies in a number of oil and gas blocks.
During the press conference, two other new members of Pertamina’s board of directors were announced, namely Darmawan Samsu replacing Syamsu Alam as upstream director and Kuswiro Kushartanto replacing Nicke as human resources development director.
Previously, SOEs Minister Rini Soemarno announced the appointment of Nicke as the Pertamina president director when inaugurating three electricity infrastructure projects in Papua, Jayapura.
SOEs Ministry strategic industry and media affairs undersecretary Fajar Harry Sampurno said Nicke's appointment had been approved by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. “This appointment is based on the President’s approval,” he said during Wednesday’s press conference.
It has been four months since the removal of Elia Massa Manik from his position as Pertamina president director. Since then, the energy holding company has been led by Nicke.
The government official linked Elia’s removal with a series of problems at the company, including a recent oil spill and slow progress in refinery developments, but analysts have also linked it to his reluctance to carry out the government’s populist programs, including the one-price fuel policy to provide low-price fuel in remote regions. (bbn)
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