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Jakarta Post

Buy gas, get internet and TV: PGN takes it all to fund gas pipe expansion

  • Norman Harsono

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, July 7, 2020   /   11:53 am
Buy gas, get internet and TV: PGN takes it all to fund gas pipe expansion A PGN technician inspects a household gas pipe meter beside a homeowner at the latter's residence in Pasuruan, East Java, on 17 October 2019. The company had extended its household gas pipe network (jargas) to Pasuruan that month. (JP/Norman Harsono)

Top gas distributor PGN, a state-owned publicly listed company, is looking to sell internet and cable TV services to fund the expansion of Indonesia’s household gas pipe program, known locally as jargas.

PGN’s freshly appointed president director, Suko Hartono, said on Monday the company sought to expand its existing fiber optic cable network to deliver such “gasnet” services for residential customers.

The fiber optic network, built into PGN’s gas pipe network, is currently managed by subsidiary PT PGAS Telekomunikasi Nusantara (Pgascom) for internal and business-to-business communications.

“When installing fiber optic, the biggest cost is digging, and we have already done that for our pipes,” Suko told lawmakers at the House of Representatives in Jakarta.

“We are doing this program to make the jargas program more economical,” he added.

At the government’s behest, PGN is expected to connect 316,000 new homes to its gas pipe network this year, 84 percent of which were to be connected using state funds.

However, the government cut program funding such that only 40 percent of the targeted homes will be connected using state coffers. The difference will be diverted to tackle COVID-19 and jump-start the economy. 

Thus, PGN is left to find new means of financing the gas pipe program. The company also expects the gasnet program to lure investment into developing gas pipe infrastructure, said Suko.

“So, going forward, a house could get gas, cable TV and internet and pay around Rp 300,000 to Rp 500,000,” he added, estimating installation costs.