Japanese gas majors’ Indonesian RNG partnership

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PT Pertamina (Persero), Indonesia’s state-owned energy company has signed a cooperation agreement with three Japanese gas companies to conduct a feasibility study on biogas production from palm oil mill effluent (POME) upgrading it to biomethane (renewable natural gas - RNG) and potentially liquefying it to bioLNG in Indonesia. 

This project, which was signed at a virtual ceremony during the Aisa Green Growth Partnership Ministerial Meeting (AGGPM), is part of the Asia Energy Transition Intitiave 2 (AETI) launched by the government of Japan in 2021. 

The goal is to encourage sustainable economic growth while supporting the net-zero emissions achievement through the transition to clean energy in Asia. 

Together with Osaka Gas Co Ltd (Osaka Gas), JGC Holdings Corporation (JGC) and INPEX Corporation (INPEX), Peramina will conduct the POME to bioLNG value chain study. 

Indonesia is the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter, employing three million workers and generating 4.5 percent GDP. 

POME contains organic matter, which results in significant methane (CH4) emissions, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) with a global warming impact 25 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2).  

This project is intended to reduce GHG emissions from palm oil waste by converting it into a biofuel that will contribute to a clean energy supply in a sustainable manner. 

Through this collaboration, Pertamina and its partners will collectively conduct project feasibility studies, including cooperation in the research and development of technology and solutions related to biomethane production from POME sources located in Sumatra and Kalimantan. 

Later, the production of biomethane will be channelled through Pertamina’s gas network to meet the growing demand for natural gas as well as contribute to emission reductions. 

This collaboration will also examine opportunities to take advantage of carbon credit mechanisms and biomethane certification schemes to secure carbon neutrality. 

In addition, this collaboration will also examine marketing opportunities for biomethane or bioLNG and bunker fuel, including exports of bioLNG to Japan and other countries. 

Acting VP of corporate communication of Pertamina, Heppy Wulansari, said Pertamina positions this collaboration as a continuation of several green energy development projects that have developed so far. 

“This collaboration supports the government’s efforts to reduce GHG emission by 30 percent by 2030. In addition to developing New and Renewable Energy (EBT), this collaboration will help overcome environmental challenges, especially by converting palm oil waste into environmentally friendly energy,” Wulansar said. She added that Pertamina would provide several facilities and study locations in Kalimantan and Sumatra. 

The collaboration is hoped to meet the natural gas needs in the industrial and household sectors and expand the development of the company’s natural gas network. 

Osaka Gas emphasised that the collaboration is aligned with Daigas Group Carbon Neutral Vision (CNV), launched in January 2021, aimed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. 

Under CNV, Osaka Gas will continue to develop technologies and services to solve social problems such as climate change. 

Daigas Group will contribute to the collaboration through bio-methane production technology from biogas, biomethane pipeline injection and knowledge of natural gas marketing. 

The goal is to expand the use of biomethane in Indonesia as well as reduce CO2 emissions in Indonesia and Japan. The JGC Group said that the programme is an important strategy to clean energy transition in Asia to achieve its medium-term management plan, “Building the Infrastructure of a Sustainable Planet 2025.” 

JGC will contribute by providing its core competencies in programme management and delivering world-class engineering capabilities gained through its rich track record in building gas facilities in Indonesia. 

INPEX said that through this collaboration, it will seek to be proactively involved in reforming the energy structure towards a net-zero carbon society realisation by 2050. 

Aligned with the Long-Term Strategy and Medium-Term Business Plan (INPEX Vision @2022) launched in February 2022, INPEX will work together to build a business framework that contributes to the climate change response and explore opportunities to provide clean LNG bunkering solutions at the Bontang LNG terminal. 

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