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Jakarta Post

Pertamina projects stall amid policy flip-flops, refinery blaze

  • Vincent Lingga

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Wed, March 31, 2021   /  03:47 am
Pertamina projects stall amid policy flip-flops, refinery blaze A farmer works in his field as smoke billows from a fire at Balongan refinery, operated by state oil company Pertamina, in Indramayu, West Java on Tuesday. (AFP/Agus Sipur)

This is really bad news for energy, an extremely vital component of the economy. While Pertamina’s four refinery upgrade projects and two greenfield refinery projects launched in 2014 have been delayed by several years or even canceled, an inferno fire gutted the state-owned oil and gas giant’s newest refinery at Balongan, West Java, early Monday morning. Even though Pertamina has made assurances that the incident would not disrupt fuel supply and distribution, we cannot help but be concerned about the damage incurred on the downstream oil industry. Already Southeast Asia’s largest net importer of crude oil, gasoline and gasoil at an annual volume of almost 1 million barrels per day (bpd), Indonesia may have to import more refined fuel until the Balongan refinery resumes production at its 125,000 bpd full capacity. Pertamina’s six old refineries, which ha...