Ombudsman Calls for Review on Pertamina Assets Post Massive Fire

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  • Pertamina's fire brigade personnel extinguish fire at the company's oil refinery in Balongan, Indramayu regency, Indonesia, March 31, 2021. Indonesia's state oil company PT Pertamina said it has put out a fire that had engulfed part of its 125,000 barrel per day refinery in Balongan, West Java Courtesy of PT Pertamina (Persero)/Handout via REUTERS

    Pertamina's fire brigade personnel extinguish fire at the company's oil refinery in Balongan, Indramayu regency, Indonesia, March 31, 2021. Indonesia's state oil company PT Pertamina said it has put out a fire that had engulfed part of its 125,000 barrel per day refinery in Balongan, West Java Courtesy of PT Pertamina (Persero)/Handout via REUTERS

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Ombudsman has requested the Minister of State-owned Enterprises (SOEs) Erick Thohir to immediately review obsolete assets owned by state-energy firm Pertamina following the massive fire at its Balongan refinery in West Java on March 29.

    “The SOEs Minister needs to review Pertamina assets that are already obsolete. I think this is important for the government to take notice,” said Ombudsman member Herry Susanto in an online press conference on April 14.

    According to Ombudsman's investigation, the Balongan refinery had sustained three fires throughout its lifetime. The first incident happened in October 2007 which did not damage Pertamina’s production facility; only its waste management system.

    The second incident happened on January 4, 2019 while the third took place on March 29, 2021, which eventually caused an explosion at Pertamina’s T301G tank. 

    Hery Susanto suspected that the recent fire that ultimately damaged the facility was caused by the refinery’s equipment that is already outdated. He also added that there might not be disaster mitigation mechanisms caused by technological failure. 

    Read: Fire at Balongan Oil Refinery; Pertamina Losses 400,000 Barrels of Oil

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA