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SOE Minister Rini Soemarno (4th from left) witnessed the JV agreement between Pertamina, Bukit Asam and Air Products and Chemicals (Image credit: Pertamina)

Pertamina, Bukit Asam, Air Products set up JV firm to develop syngas project

JAKARTA ( – State-owned energy company PT Pertamina, state-run coal producer PT Bukit Asam Tbk (IDX:PTBA) and Air Products and Chemicals Inc., have on Wednesday (Jan. 16) signed formal agreement to set up a joint venture company to develop coal derivative product called dimethylether (DME).

The signing agreement was a follow-up of the preliminary deal agreed by the three parties on Nov. 7, 2018, in Allentown, USA.

After signing the agreement, the parties will conduct a feasibility study and commercial aspect of the DME product.

The JV aims to utilize technology to produce coal-to-gas (gasification) in which coal will be processed into syngas, which will then processed into end-product.

The three parties have planned to build the coal gasification plant in Peranap, Riau.

The plant will take coal from Bukit Asam’s coal mine in Peranap. The end product will be absorbed by Pertamina. Meanwhile, Air Products and Chemicals will be responsible for applying the technology design of the plant.


The State Enterprise Minister Rini Soemarno said the end product of the plant could be varied, ranging from DME, diesel and aviation jet.

Meanwhile, President Director of Bukit Asam Arviyan Arifin said the DME product could be used to replace LPG, which is today mostly imported from abroad. Bukit Asam can support the project given its huge coal resources of 8.3 billion and coal reserves of 3.3 billion.

President Director of Pertamina Nicke Widyawati said the cooperation with Bukit Asam and Air Products and Chemicals is a strategic move by all related parties to strengthen the country’s energy security as well as self-sufficient in the energy sector.

In 2017, Indonesia imported 73% of its national LPG consumption, showing the dependence of the country to imported LPG. The coal-gasification project will help reduce dependence on imported LPG, Nicke said.

Chairman, President, and CEO Air Products and Chemicals Seifi Ghasemi said it has the required technology to produce syngas, which will be later converted into DME.

The gasification project will be located in Peranap mine-mouth with a planned installed capacity of 1.4 million tons of DME per annum, which is produced from 9.2 million tons of coal.

The DME products will be sold to petrochemical producers, such as PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical Tbk (IDX:TPIA), Pertamina as well as fertilizer producers. (*)

Written by Staff Writer,

Edited by Roffie Kurniawan (email:

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