TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - When an outsider helms Indonesia’s oil and gas company PT Pertamina, it always gives a hope as well as a feeling of anxiety.
Elia Massa Manik, who managed to bring positive changes at Elnusa, Bank BNI, and the parent company of PT Perkebunan Nusantara, will be tested once again.
Will he be able to strengthen his reputation, or on the contrary, will be lost in the game of the arena that he should control?
There are at least two main challenges for Massa Manik in that state-owned enterprise with the asset of around Rp600 trillion.
First is realizing the plan of Pertamina to become a strong global player in oil and gas industries, be it upstream sector and downstream sector.
With so many concession of working areas that Pertamina has and which have not been maximally managed, growth opportunities are still open in the upstream sector.
In the downstream sector, Pertamina, which has been pampered for a long time with various facilities, must prove that it is able to compete professionally facing local competitors and several foreign companies that have begun entering the country.
Massa is also demanded to be ready to implement various assignments in public service.
One of them is the one price fuel policy all over Indonesia launched by President Joko Widodo a task that will definitely use a big amount of the company’s money.
At the same time, Pertamina is facing a debt of around US$16 billion or more that Rp 212 trillion, whose time limit will gradually fall in the next five years.
This is a test on its own for Massa, who was previously considered successful to turn the table several companies which were in dire situation but it got better.
The second thing that is always been expected from whoever leads Pertamina is the ability and courage to clean the company from oil and gas mafia.
It is widely known that the company that booked a profit of Rp400 trillion last year has always been interfered.
Many interests are vested in Pertamina, from the network of the thieves that make holes in the pipes of crude oil, transportation and shipping, to those who find profits in every transaction that reaches more or less 1.5 million barrels per day.
Some of the Massa’s predecessors have tried.
Some of them gave up and ended up cooperating and closing their eyes to those mafia and their backings.
One or two who even were dismissed from their positions because they were not strong against pressures and power intervention.
Another important issue is management consolidation.
Massa had to deal with the accompany that was marred with tense due to leadership dualism between Dwi Soetjipto and Ahmad Bambang, who were later dismissed as president director and deputy president director in February this year.
It will not take a long time to see how someone like Massa will really be able to deal with them or get carried away instead.