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Jakarta Post

Pertamina gets grip on ailing TPPI after stake purchase

Raras Cahyafitri
Jakarta   ●   Fri, October 23, 2015

Following its acquisition of PT Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama'€™s (TPPI) stake from Argo Capital BV, oil and gas giant Pertamina had secured the lion'€™s share of TPPI, an executive said.

Pertamina finance director Arief Budiman said on Thursday that Pertamina had completed the transaction in October, acquiring a further 21.98 percent stake in TPPI worth US$76 million, bringing its stake in the company to 48.59 percent.

'€œThe current shareholding position is important because many decisions regarding TPPI need approval from 66.67 or even 75 percent of voting shares,'€ Arief said.

Besides Pertamina, the Finance Ministry through state asset management company Perusahaan Pengelola Aset (PPA) holds a 19.16 percent stake in the firm. Therefore, the total of the state'€™s shareholding in TPPI is now 67.75 percent.

Arief said Pertamina'€™s operation of TPPI was expected to generate revenue that would be used to settle debts, including settlement of debts to the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Task Force (SKKMigas) of around $139 million.

The TPPI share acquisition is expected to reduce Pertamina'€™s imports of petroleum products, which have contributed to the country'€™s widening current account deficit. TPPI'€™s refinery has an optimum production capacity of approximately 61,000 barrels per day of gasoline or 22.27 million barrels per year.

Pertamina refining director Rachmad Hardadi said TPPI was currently running at only 60 percent to 70 percent of its capacity.

Rachmad added that the refinery now produced around 40,000 barrels per day in gasoline, generating Pertamina an additional $400,000 per day in revenue.

'€œWe are expecting to see TPPI in full operation by this December,'€ Rachmad said.

Only three years after its establishment in 1995, TPPI was hit by the financial crisis that paralyzed the region in 1998, leaving it with unsettled debts, complicated condensate sales and a purchase agreement for feedstock.

Recently, the company has been dragged into public spotlight following allegations of graft implicating several high-level officials regarding the appointment of TPPI as the buyer and seller of the state'€™s condensate in 2009, which has potentially caused state losses of Rp 2 trillion (US$146.9 million).

As the global crude oil price keeps declining, Pertamina is struggling to carry out efficiency measures and maximize its potential, partly through the operation of TPPI and the residual fluid catalytic cracking unit in Cilacap to cut imports.

Pertamina reported $31.99 billion in revenue in the period from January to September this year, a decline of about 42 percent compared with $55.17 billion in the same period last year. Its net profits stood at $914 million as of the end of September this year, a drop of around 47 percent compared with $1.73 billion during the January to September period last year.

The company is estimating that is will book $40 billion in revenue by the year-end, according to Arief. Meanwhile, its net profits are expected to be in the range of $1 billion to $1.2 billion by the year-end.