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Jakarta Post

Former minister Arcandra appointed as PGN president commissioner

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, January 21, 2020   /   06:30 pm
Former minister Arcandra appointed as PGN president commissioner Former Energy Minister Arcandra Tahar (seated second left) was appointed president commissioner of PGN after a shareholder meeting in Jakarta on Tuesday . (JP/Norman Harsono)

Former energy and mineral resources minister Arcandra Tahar has been appointed president commissioner of Indonesia’s largest midstream gas business, state-owned PGN.

The US-trained engineer, who is replacing Wiratmaja Puja, told reporters after a shareholders meeting in Jakarta on Jan. 21 that he sought to improve PGN’s performance “be it from an infrastructure standpoint or from a subsidiary standpoint, particularly in the upstream."

While PGN is fundamentally a midstream gas player, the company has an upstream oil and gas subsidiary, namely Saka Energi. The publicly listed distributor’s main projects include expanding the household gas network (Jargas) and developing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal. Saka operates the Pangkah oil and gas block in East Java.

PGN adds to a list of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including oil company Pertamina and utility PLN, whose boards have been shaken up since late last year to improve their performances. Behind the shake-up is SOEs Minister Erick Thohir, who continues to emphasize the importance of good corporate governance in state firms following scandals that have hit flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and state insurers Asuransi Jiwasraya and Asabri.

PGN president director Gigih Prakoso said shareholders had chosen Arcandra as president commissioner because of his “strong record in the oil and gas industry.” 

Arcandra worked at several oil and gas companies abroad for almost two decades before entering his turbulent years as an Indonesian public official. He was appointed energy minister in July 21, 2016, but removed from office three weeks later because of a citizenship controversy. He was reappointed as deputy minister in Oct. 14, 2016, and served for three years until his term ended in September 2019.

Arcandra, a native of Padang, West Sumatra, also campaigned for President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s re-election among voters in that province, despite not being a formal campaign team member.