PTBA is Considering Partnering with This Chinese Company for the Gasification Project

Jakarta,-PT Bukit Asam Tbk (PTBA) is exploring opportunities for collaboration with Chinese companies to continue coal downstream projects in the country. This is in line with the departure of the United States (US) company Air Products and Chemicals Inc. from the project.

PTBA President Director, Arsal Ismail said that there were several potential partners from China to continue the coal gasification project into dimethyl ether (DME). However, one of the companies that is quite serious about working on this project is East China Engineering Science and Technology Co., Ltd.

“Of the several Chinese companies, the most serious is East China Engineering Science and Technology Co., Ltd. That is currently the most serious one we are exploring regarding the DME issue, apart from talking about economics,” said Arsal at a press conference, on Friday (8/3/2024).

Arsal emphasized that his party would remain committed to continuing this project even if Air Products and Chemicals left. In fact, in the future, the company will not only focus on the coal gasification project in DME.

“We will carry out this assessment, we will not only focus on DME, we will also focus on other derivatives of methanol, we are also conducting studies,” he added.

Previously, Plt. The Director General of Mineral and Coal at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Bambang Suswantono, stated that to support coal downstream, the government provides three incentives for companies that are committed to carrying out coal downstream.

These incentives include, first, reducing the special coal royalty rate for coal gasification to 0%. Second, setting special coal prices to increase added value (gasification), which is carried out at the mine mouth.

“The third incentive is that the validity period of the coal mining business permit specifically for coal for gasification is given following the economic age of the coal gasification industry,” explained Bambang as quoted from the official website of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Friday (29/8/2023).

As is known, the coal downstream program that President Jokowi has intensified has not yet been implemented. Moreover, when a petrochemical company from the US, namely Air Products and Chemicals Inc., withdrew from two coal gasification projects in Indonesia.

President Jokowi is proud of this coal gasification project because it can reduce national Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) imports and in the end, it can save the country’s foreign exchange.

Sources : Mar 13.24

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