Energy minister gives priority to refinery plant development

"Fuel refinery plants are important for the future," the minister said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said has stated he would give priority to the development of refinery plants to process crude oil into fuels.

"Fuel refinery plants are important for the future," the minister said in a press conference after the handover ceremony between him and previous energy and mineral resources minister Chairul Tanjung here on Wednesday.

He added that many difficult but important programs in the energy and mineral resources sector had yet to be carried out.

"It is difficult to build refinery plants, but they are important. Fuel oil terminals are also important. Infrastructure development will be given priority in the future," the minister remarked.

Self-sufficiency in energy must be supported with infrastructure such as refinery plants and storage tanks and "we should not depend on market," he stressed.

The minister also disclosed his ministrys other priorities such as continuing the development of processes to add values to mineral resources and coal mining.

"We will focus on increasing value-added coal and mineral resources. It is easy to export raw materials but that does not add to the national capacity," he remarked.

In the coming one to two weeks, he will study all delayed decisions. "If all delayed decisions fulfill expected requirements, they will be immediately approved," he added.

He emphasized he will try to remove obstacles and ensure that the energy and mineral resources ministry as well the SKK Migas oil and gas regulator function well.

"I will check all the machines of the organizations. If there are obstacles, then measures will be taken to overcome them in the coming one or two weeks," he stated.

He said he would take firm action against any irregularity, including the oil mafia.

Regarding the price of subsidized fuel, he said there was no decision as yet to raise its price.

"But there will be a diversion of fuel subsidy, from the rich to the poor," he said, referring to the subsidized fuels that the rich and not the poor are believed to be enjoying.

State-owned oil firm Pertamina has planned to increase the capacity of the countrys refinery plants from 1.05 million to 1.6 million barrels of oil per day with an estimated investment of Rp200 trillion in the coming six years, by 2020.

Pertaminas Commercial Director Hanung Budya said the program or the refinery development master plan (RDMP) will triple its premium gasoline production and double its automotive oil production.

Besides the RDMP, Pertamina will also continue the development of new plants with a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day in cooperation with the Saudi Aramco Asia (SAA).

But the development of plants is still awaiting the governments fiscal incentive approval with which they can meet economic viability.

Pertamina is currently operating six refinery plants across the country with a combined capacity of 1.047 million barrels of oil per day.(*)