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Jakarta Post

Fire at Pertamina's Balongan oil refinery will not impact operations: CEO

  • News Desk

    Agencies

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 29, 2021   /   01:35 pm
Fire at Pertamina's Balongan oil refinery will not impact operations: CEO A massive fire rages at the Balongan refinery, operated by state oil company Pertamina, in Indramayu, West Java, on March 29, 2021. (AFP/Agus Sipur)

A fire at the Balongan oil refinery operated by state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina has not damaged the refinery’s processing capabilities, Pertamina Chief Executive Officer Nicke Widyawati told a news conference on Monday.

The blaze that broke out in the early hours of Monday, injuring five and forcing 950 residents to evacuate was focused on the refinery’s tanks, with no damage to the processing plant, Nicke said as quoted by Reuters.

While the refinery was shut down to fight the fire, the company said there it hoped operations could return to normal in the next five days.

The massive blaze broke out at one of the country's biggest oil refineries after a huge explosion turned the sprawling complex into a raging inferno.

Firefighters battled to contain the fire at the Balongan refinery in West Java, operated by state oil company Pertamina, as towering plumes of black smoke rose into the sky.

At least five people were seriously injured and about 1,000 local residents were evacuated from the scene after the fire broke out early Monday morning.

The local disaster agency said one person had died from a heart attack after the explosion.

About 15 people were slightly injured and authorities said they were checking on the whereabouts of three others.

"To prevent the fire from spreading we've shut down operations ... and are putting our efforts into handling the blaze," Pertamina's president director Nicke Widyawati said in a statement, quoted by AFP.

The cause of the fire was not clear, but the company said the blaze broke out during a lightning storm.

Pertamina said it did not expect the fire to cause fuel supply disruptions due to the high volume of stock it has on hand.

The sprawling refinery is about 200 kilometres (120 miles) east of the capital Jakarta.