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Jakarta Post

Pertamina delves into health industry amid low fuel demand

  • The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, June 4 2020   /  01:00 am
A medical worker is checking on the ventilator at the intensive care unit (ICU) of Pertamina Jaya Hospital in Central Jakarta on Monday, April 6, 2020.(Antara/M. Risyal Hidayat)

State-owned oil and gas giant Pertamina plans to explore opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and expand its hospital business as Indonesian fossil fuel demand sinks amid the partial COVID-19 lockdowns. Pertamina is in talks with state-owned pharmaceutical producer PT Kimia Farma to supply certain petrochemicals needed for drug production. The oil company, through a hospital subsidiary, also plans to acquire dozens of new hospitals over the year. “We see an opportunity,” said Pertamina president director Nicke Widyawati on April 30. “What kind of business, during any crises, continues to survive or even grow? It’s medicine.” The oil company’s dive into medicine followed a slump in fuel demand across partially locked down Indonesia. Consumption plunged 35 percent to 65,678 kiloliters (KL) per day in April from the daily average in Janua...