The Jakarta Post
Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan has called on state-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam (PTBA) to begin development of a downstream coal gasification industry to support efforts to reduce the country’s imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).
The minister directed PTBA president director Arviyan Arifin to turn solid coal into dimethyl ether (DME) and polypropylene, which can be used as a substitute for LPG.
“Pak Arviyan is smart. If it was only mining coal, that’s not Pak Arviyan’s job,” Jonan said in Jakarta as quoted by kontan.co.id on Monday, adding that the government had issued a regulation to support the downstream coal industry.
“We are waiting for Pak Arviyan to become a pioneer in the development of the downstream industry.”
He explained that the country imported 4.5 million to 4.7 million tons of LPG annually, which cost Rp 40 trillion (US$2.82 billion) to Rp 50 trillion.
Jonan called on state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina to set a target to reduce LPG imports by at least 1 million tons, as the country had large reserves of coal.
Jonan challenged PTBA to turn all the coal it extracted, which totaled 26 million tons last year, into DME to help the country cut its LPG imports. He also said he would be ready to issue additional regulations to support the downstream coal industry. (bbn)