Indonesia Plans to Convert Coal into Gas to Substitute Natural Gas

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government continues to maximize the use of coal in the country through downstream process so as to make this commodity remain a driving force for the national economy in the future.

    The government has decided to turn coal into dimethyl ether and raw material for petrochemical factories, Director of Coal Business Development at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Sujatmiko said at the Indonesia EBTKE ConEx, an integrated event dedicated to driving the sustainable energy development in Indonesia.

    "In this downstream process, we will convert coal into gas that can be used as dimethyl ether. The dimethyl ether can be used to replace LNG (liquefied natural gas) and coal syngas (synthesis gas) and can be used for methanol, fertilizers and petrochemical plant needs," he was quoted by Antara news agency as saying on Friday, Nov. 26.

    Through the scenario of gasification of coal into dimethyl ether, the government seeks to extend the utilization period of coal as primary energy, he explained.

    Based on calculations by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources in 2020, Indonesia's coal resources will reach 143 billion tons, reserves of 38.8 billion tons, production assumptions of 600 million tons per year, and the reserves can last for 65 years, he noted.

    The amount of production and demand for coal will continue to increase over the next 20 years to meet national and world energy needs, he said.