TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo estimated that the coal downstream project into dimethyl ether (DME) could save the State Budget up to Rp7 trillion. The project is being worked on by state-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam (PTBA) together with state gas and oil firm Pertamina and Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APCI).
“If this [project] by Bukit Asam in collaboration with Pertamina and Air Products is done and can start production, it can reduce subsidies from the state budget by around Rp7 trillion,” said the President during the groundbreaking of the project which was broadcast virtually on Monday, January 24.
He explained that Indonesia's current imports in Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) were very large at around Rp80 trillion from the national need of Rp100 trillion. From that value, the government must also provide subsidies to the community from the State Budget between Rp60-70 trillion.
“Do we want to continue with this, to keep importing? The ones who earn profit and open jobs are other countries, even though it is us that own the raw materials. We have the raw material, namely coal which can be converted into DME,” the state head underlined.
He also said that if LPG imports are all stopped and substituted with DME, it could save the state fund reaching Rp60 to 70 trillion.
Jokowi hoped that after this project is completed, similar projects will be started in other regions. The production in this project would then be able to supply DME for only South Sumatra and its vicinity areas.