Jakarta, APBI-ICMA: KONTAN.CO.ID March 20, 2019 reported that the government continues to encourage coal producers to explore the downstream segment, one of which is through coal gasification.
By boosting downstream, the government hopes to reduce gas imports which have contributed to the current account deficit.
There are several coal producers who are interested in running coal downstreaming programs, such as PT Bukit Asam Tbk (PTBA), PT Bumi Resources Tbk (BUMI) and PT Adaro Energy Tbk (ADRO). So far, only PTBA has started a downstream project.
PT Bumi Resources Tbk Director Dileep Srivastava stated that the downstream plan with coal gasification is not new. "We are conducting a feasibility study on strategic options for using coal as raw material," he said, Tuesday (3/19).
Dileep stressed, currently the issuers of members of the Kompas100 index are still considering the best options for downstreaming. For information, this year they aim for coal production of 90 million tons.
Similar to BUMI, ADRO seems to have been exploring a number of possibilities for developing various forms of coal downstreaming, including gasification schemes. However, ADRO, who is also a member of the Kompas100 index, did not rush to expand it.
PT Adaro Energy Tbk's Head of Corporate Communications, Febriati Nadira said, ADRO was studying coal downstream technology which is now growing. "We study the technology in terms of effectiveness," he told KONTAN yesterday.
In contrast to BUMI and ADRO, which are still learning the best options for carrying out downstreaming, Bukit Asam has begun a downstream project through coal gasification. PTBA's plan to build a coal gasification plant is not new. They have been working on this project in the past few years.
With gasification technology, members of the Kompas100 index will convert young coal into synthesis gas (syngas), then process it into dimethyl ether (DME) as a substitute for LPG, urea for fertilizer, and polypropylene as plastic raw material.
PTBA has two coal gasification development projects. First, it will be built in the mine mouth area of Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra. Second, the project is located in Peranap, Riau.
Based on KONTAN's records, to build a coal downstreaming plant as well as an economic zone area, an investment of US $ 1.2 billion is needed. They are looking for an appropriate scheme to meet the funding. For the factory in Tanjung Enim, PTBA cooperates with Pertamina, Pupuk Indonesia and Chandra Asri Petrochemical.
PTBA targets this coal gasification plant to be completed in 2022 and is able to meet market needs of 500,000 tons of urea, 400,000 tons of DME and 450,000 tons of polypropylene per year.