Indonesia waits for Saudi Aramco refinery approval

02 August 2018
State-owned firm Pertamina last year asked Aramco to delay refinery upgrade

Indonesia’s state energy company Pertamina is yet to receive approval from Saudi Aramco for delaying the estimated $5bn upgrade of its refinery in Cilacap in Central Java.

“We are still talking with Saudi Aramco. The plan is on schedule. Meanwhile, we are in the process of acquiring land in Cilacap,” a senior Pertamina executive has been quoted as saying in a local media report.

Pertamina had formed a joint venture (JV) agreement with Aramco in December 2016 to jointly own, upgrade and operate the Cilacap refinery, and raise its refining capacity to 400,000 barrels a day (b/d) from 348,000 b/d.

As per the JV agreement, Pertamina would hold 55 per cent of the asset, with Aramco owning the other 45 per cent.

In June, last year Pertamina said it was awaiting approval from Aramco to delay completion of the upgrade project to 2023 from 2021.

It is understood that Pertamina may be looking for investors to finance the project for which it needs more time.

“Pertamina is optimistic about its refinery plan, with investors expressing interest in doing business with the company,” the official has been quoted as saying.

The upgraded Cilacap refinery would be designed to process Arabian crude supplied by Aramco.

In June, Aramco’s retail fuel arm signed a fuel supply agreement with Pertamina to supply up to 2 million barrels of gasoline a month throughout the second half of this year.

The Cilacap refinery will also produce refined products that meet Euro V specifications, basic petrochemicals, and Group II base oil for lubricants.

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