The Jakarta Post
The government is considering requiring all coal miners to turn the raw commodity into dimethylether (DME) as a substitute for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), as the country still imports 70 percent of its total LPG demand.
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan said on Thursday the coal gasification program would help reduce the country’s annual spending of US$3 billion on LPG, as the country was blessed with abundant coal resources.
“If we only sell coal as a raw commodity, your mining degree is useless. [Gasification] could become a requirement,” he said at his speech at the 6th annual Pertamina Energy Forum.
State-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam (PTBA) and state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina have inked an agreement with United States-based chemical firm Air Products and Chemicals Inc. to turn solid coal into coal derivatives – DME and syntheticnatural gas (SNG).
A coal gasification facility in Penarap, Riau, is expected to begin operation in 2022 with a total capacity of 400,000 tons of DME annually and 50 million metric standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd) of SNG.
Jonan noted that China had been able to produce derivatives for jet fuel, known as avtur. “Our country needs to become more industrialist rather than just being a trader.” he said. (bbn)