PGN Boosts Efforts to Provide Gas as Fuel Alternative
Bandung. State gas distributor Perusahaan Gas Negara, or PGN, has identified 73 fuel stations in the Greater Jakarta area that can be converted into integrated gas stations that would allow consumers to fill their vehicles with gasoline or gas.
The administration of President Joko Widodo has announced its intention to push for a wider conversion of gasoline use by the industrial and transportation sectors to natural gas, including compressed natural gas (CNG).
PGN has also been supporting the program by developing the required infrastructure, including mobile refueling units, or MRUs.
Gas use became a critical campaign for the current administration as it seeks to cut fuel subsidies. Gas is relatively cheaper than gasoline.
“We have identified 73 fuel stations that can be linked with gas pipes from PGN,” said Ridha Ababil, vice president of corporate communications at PGN.
Ridha also revealed the challenges that PGN has faced in its attempts to expand, including the company’s struggle in purchasing land and acquiring permits from local governments.
PGN currently operates 14 gas stations, of which only three — located in Bekasi, Bogor and Gadjah Mada, Central Jakarta — are fully owned by the company.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla recently announced government plans to further improve and expand on Indonesia’s gas infrastructure, including building gas pipes and gas filling stations.
Meanwhile, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno has called on PGN to cooperate with several gas stations under the watch of state-controlled oil and natural gas firm Pertamina, to enable a wider use of gas by private vehicles.
According to research conducted by the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry, the price of gas is at about Rp 3,100 (25 cents) per oil-equivalent liter — much cheaper than the price of subsidized fuel.
Subsidized low-octane gasoline is now sold at Rp 8,500 per liter.
Gema Goeyardi, the president and founder of stock broker and equity research company Astronacci, said he believed PGN would benefit from the government’s plans for a broader fuel-to-gas conversion program.