Indonesian firms begin “detailed discussions” on biomethane commercialisation

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A group of Indonesian companies have started detailed discussions on the best means of the commercialisation of biomethane derived from palm oil mill effluent (POME) in the country.
The organisations include Indonesian natural gas supplier PT Perusahaan Gas Negara Tbk (PGT), a subsidiary of the country's national oil company Pertamina; JGC Holdings Corporation (JGC); Osaka Gas; and INPEX.
Pertamina, JGC, Osaka Gas and INPEX have been jointly studying use of POME-based biomethane for some time.
In-depth discussions were instigated by a decision related to the use of PGN natural gas pipelines, along with the memorandum of understanding for feedstock procurement, which concluded with palm plantations, and the expressions of interest received from customers.
This discussion phase will involve technical assessment of supply chain development, and biomethane production and supply, assuming that biomethane production would begin in southern Sumatra in 2025.
Although Indonesia is the world's largest producer and exporter of palm oil - a key domestic industry generating 4.5% of the GDP and employing nearly three million people - POME is rich in organic material that is associated with significant methane emissions.
The proposed project would recover methane gas currently released into the atmosphere from POME, refine it into biomethane, and supply it to customers in Indonesia via natural gas pipelines and other existing infrastructure.
In the future, the scale of these operations are expected to expand across Sumatra and to Kalimantan as project participants will consider supplying bio-LNG liquefied from biomethane as a bunker fuel, exporting bio-LNG to Japan and elsewhere.
This project was also introduced at the Asia Zero Emission Community (AZEC) Ministerial Meeting in March 2023 as an initiative contributing to carbon neutrality in Asia.

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