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Pertamina to invest $333 million

Pertamina to invest $333 million
State oil and gas company Pertamina plans to buy 12 tankers with a total investment of US$333 million this year.

State oil and gas company Pertamina plans to buy 12 tankers with a total investment of US$333 million this year.

State oil and gas company Pertamina plans to buy 12 tankers with a total investment of US$333 million this year. The tanker order is expected to be finalized between 2012 and 2013, Suhartoko, senior vice president of shipping at Pertamina said over the weekend. He said that four of the 12 vessels have already been in the tender process.

?These four vessels alone will require a total investment of $128 million,? he said.

The four vessels, two with a capacity of 3,500 cubic meters (M3) and two with a capacity of 23,000 M3, are designed to ship liquefied petroleum gas (LPG).

Pertamina"s LPG distribution has been more aggressive since the government launched the kerosene-to-LPG conversion program in 2007. It expects to distribute between 4.4 and 4.6 million metric tons of LPG this year, deputy director for trading and marketing Hanung Budya said.

Suhartoko said Pertamina was still waiting for shareholder approval for procurement of eight other tankers, including three with the capacity of 3,500 deadweight tons (DWT) each; one with the capacity of 6,500 DWT; two with the capacity of 17,500 DWT each; an LPG tanker with a capacity of 3,500 M3 and a Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) with a capacity of about 45.000 metric tons.

?The eight tankers will cost as $205 million,? Suhartoko said.

He added that Pertamina would buy the small-capacity tankers from domestic companies, but for the big one, Pertamina will order from overseas producers.

Suhartoko said Pertamina was currently operating 170 tankers and expect to get 47 more tankers
by 2014.

The new Shipping Law stipulates that, by January 2010, all domestic shipments for 13 specified commodities, including crude oil, must be carried by national vessels. However, Suhartoko said Pertamina had obtained permits to still use 12 foreign-flags vessels until March 31 this year.

?We are committed to comply with the cabotage principle, but apparently to replace the foreign-flag vessels with the Indonesian-flag vessels requires time as the vessels must be owned and operated by Indonesian companies.

?Our tankers, especially VLGC for LPG and other big sized tankers, will require huge investment, which make it difficult for Indonesian companies to provide this. As the process to find investors requires a long time we have requested to the government to allow our LPG tankers to be exempted from the principle until March 31, 2012? Suhartoko said.

He added that the government had granted the permit, but this will be reviewed on a monthly basis.

www.TurkishMaritime.com.tr

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