Pertamina to import more LPG to counter shortfall

Indonesia's state-owned PT Pertamina will import 50% more LPG in April to overcome a shortage in the domestic market, stepping up supplies to 18,000 tonnes from 12,600 tonnes in March.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, Mar 29 -- Indonesia's state-owned PT Pertamina will import 50% more LPG in April to overcome a shortage in the domestic market, stepping up supplies to 18,000 tonnes from 12,600 tonnes in March.

Pertamina was forced to import the LPG because maintenance work at a refinery in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, was causing delays in distribution, said deputy head of trading and marketing Hanung Budya. He did not say where the extra supplies would be sourced.

Last year Pertamina imported 5.5 million tonnes of LPG because it could only supply 1 million tonnes of an estimated demand of 6.5 million tonnes/year.

Meanwhile, in connection with recent LPG shortages in some parts of the country, Hanung also said Pertamina would add 10,000 tonnes to the storage capacity of its Indramayu refinery in West Java in August.

The refinery's existing storage capacity of 25,000 tonnes can hold a 6-month supply of LPG, but Hanung said the firm needs to increase capacity to 50,000 tonnes in order to secure a 14-day supply due to demand of some 3,500 tonnes/day.

Pertamina also plans to rent semirefrigerator tankers, with a capacity of 8,000 tonnes each, to deliver LPG from its production sites directly to areas on Java.

He said supply for Jakarta would be increased to 1,500 tonnes/day from the current 1,100 tonnes, while supplies for Bandung will be upped to 350 tonnes from 280 tonnes.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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