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Pertamina, Pupuk Indonesia seeking to develop coal-based methanol plant

JAKARTA ( – Two Indonesian companies are planning to develop coal-based methanol plant as a move to tap huge petrochemical market in Indonesia and help reduce the country’s dependency on petrochemical raw materials, a top official at the Industry Ministry said.

Director for Upstream Chemical Industry at the Industry Ministry Muhammad Khayam said that the two companies are state owned fertilizer plant PT Pupuk Indonesia and state owned energy company PT Pertamina.

“We hope that one plant would be operational in 2017 so that others can follow. We are facilitating them so that their plan can be realized,” Khayam was quoted by Bisnis Indonesia as saying.

He said Pertamina has more advanced plan and is ready to executive it. “It (Pertamina) looks really serious. The company already has a plan to develop further value-added products such as producing materials used in making polyethylene and polypropylene,” he said. Thus, the company would not only produce methanol.

He declined to disclose the amount of investment. However, he said that in order to produce 400,000-500,000 tons of methanol per year, an investor needs to invest up to US$1.6 billion.

Indonesia is yet to have such coal-based methanol plant. However, other countries, such as China, have already develop coal-based methanol and olefin plants. (*)

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