Pertamina`s LPG sales reach 2.67 mln tons

Pertamina`s LPG sales reach 2.67 mln tons

Photo document of LPG. (ANTARA/Eric Ireng)

We will keep stocks enough for 17 days, meaning that LPG needs during Ramadhan and Lebaran can be covered."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State oil and gas firm Pertamina said its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) sales in the first half of this year reached 2.67 million tons, up by 6 percent from the same period last year.

The sales consisted of 2.1 million tons of subsidized LPG in 3-kg cylinders and 0.57 million tons of non-subsidized LPG, Pertamina vice president for LPG and gas products Gigih Wahyu Hari Irianto said here on Wednesday.

The subsidized LPG and non-subsidized LPG respectively accounted for 79 percent and 21 percent of the overall LPG sales, he said.

He attributed the increase in LPG consumption to the fact that more and more people were no longer worried about using LPG and the development of small-scale industries.

"The increase in energy consumption by households and micro industries may serve as one of the indicators of the improving living standard and purchasing power of the people," he said.

He predicted LPG consumption during the fasting month of Ramadhan and the Muslim holiday of Lebaran would increase 8-10 percent to 18 thousand tons per day.

"We will keep stocks enough for 17 days, meaning that LPG needs during Ramadhan and Lebaran can be covered," he said.

Yet the rising consumption of LPG in 12-kg cylinders would increase the company`s losses from LPG business, he said.

Pertamina has projected its losses from LPG business to reach Rp6 trillion-Rp6.5 trillion this year compared to about Rp5 trillion a year earlier.

In addition, the rising operation and distribution costs as a result of subsidized fuel price hike, labor wage increase and inflation would also add to the losses, he said.

"The losses will become larger if global LPG prices increase following crisis in Egypt," he said.

Pertamina has proposed an increase in non-subsidized LPG price to curb the losses but the government has yet to approve the proposal.

LPG price was last raised to Rp5,850 a kg in October 2009 from Rp5,750 a kg previously.

Meanwhile, the LPG production cost currently reaches Rp10,064 a kg compared to Rp7,000 a kg in 2009, meaning that Pertamina suffers a loss of Rp5,152 a kg.

(Reporting by Kelik Dewanto/S012/O001)