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Jakarta Post

Pertamina expects to begin running Cilacap biorefinery in 2021

  • Norman Harsono
    Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 3, 2020   /   11:10 am
Pertamina expects to begin running Cilacap biorefinery in 2021 RU IV Lomanis refinery owned by state-owned oil giant Pertamina in Cilacap, Central Java, is pictured in this undated photo. (Antara/Idhad Zakaria)

State-owned oil giant Pertamina expects its new biofuel refinery in Cilacap, Central Java, to begin first-phase operations next year as part of the government’s biodiesel push.

The facility will have a “small capacity” of 3,000 barrels per day (bpd) but the output will be “100 percent made from crude palm oil,” said Ignatius Tallulembang, president director of Pertamina’s refinery arm, PT Kilang Pertamina Internasional (PT KPI), on Wednesday.

“Late next year we will have a capacity of 3,000 bpd. We will raise the capacity to 6,000 bpd by 2022,” he told House of Representatives lawmakers in Jakarta.

The biorefinery is small compared to Pertamina’s headline oil refinery projects, whose output levels are over 100,000 bpd each. Such projects include another refinery in the Cilacap compound from which development partner, Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, recently pulled out.

“We will focus on our biorefinery first,” said Ignatius.

The Cilacap refinery will support the government’s ongoing 30 percent palm oil-mixed (B30) biodiesel program meant to slash Indonesia’s oil imports, which are a major contributor to the country’s gaping trade deficit.

However, the palm oil industry behind B30 has also been linked to deforestation and raging forest fires that environmentalists warn may offset carbon emission reductions from reducing oil consumption.