There would be no emotional debate. Everyone will speak proportionally."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Minister for state enterprises Dahlan Iskan said he has called leaders of PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), PT Pertamina and its subsidiary PT Pertagas to a meeting to find a solution to a war of words about the idea of merger between the state gas companies.

"I call them to hear their respective arguments. There would be no emotional debate. Everyone will speak proportionally," Dahlan said on Thursday.

The conflicting statements spread by the mass media came after the idea of merger between PGN and Pertagas, a gas subsidiary of Pertamina.

PGN said it could acquire Pertagas, but Pertamina claimed it is in a better position to acquire PGN to be merged with Pertagas.

The idea of merger followed the governments scheme of open access under which Pertagas is allowed to use PGNs infrastructure of gas pipelines.

The share price of publicly listed PGN fell after the merger row, but Dahlan said,"I dont believe the share price fall was caused by the acquisition issue."

He said the open access scheme is "good for the state although it may not be very good for PGN." Earlier he suggested Pertamina acquire PGN.

On Thursday he said in implementing the open access scheme the government will be fair to both sides but most important is the interest of the state.

"The government seeks to combine ideas that no party would be hurt," he added.

Pertamina said merger between Pertagas and PGN would strengthen its oil and gas business.

Pertaminas vice president in charge of corporate communications Ali Mundakir said Pertamina is stronger than PGN in gas business fundamentals.

"Therefore, PGN should be placed under Pertamina," Ali said, adding, "however, it is for the government to decide."

He said Pertamina has finished studies on possible merger between PGN and Pertagas and the result was already submitted to the government late last year.

A PGN director Wahid Sutopo said PGN should be the one to acquire Pertagas to integrate gas pipelines.

"We have prepared the concept . It needs only a decision from the shareholders," Wahid said

PGN controls the largest network of gas distribution in the country but it produces no gas.

Pertamina produces gas with distribution handled by Pertagas.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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