Indonesia Govt Preparing to Launch Bioethanol Filling Station in Surabaya
State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir has said that his ministry is gearing to open a bioethanol filling station in Surabaya city, East Java province, in the next three to four months.
“We have started ethanol trial production at PTPN (state-run agricultural company PT Perkebunan Nusantara), whose filling station will be established later in Surabaya city,” he informed at a joint working meeting with Commission VI of the House of Representatives (DPR).
Since bioethanol is derived from plants, it can decompose, thus, it requires a more complex logistical process compared to the one used for petroleum fuel, he noted.
Bioethanol cannot be disbursed to filling stations that are too far from its manufacturing location, he explained.
On November 4, 2022, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) inaugurated the “Bioethanol from Cane for Energy Security” program at the bioethanol factory of PTPN X’s subsidiary PT Nusantara Agro Energy (Enero) in Mojokerto city, East Java, which is 50 kilometers away from Surabaya city.
He said he expected the program for processing cane into bioethanol to be successful so that it can strengthen the resilience of Indonesia’s energy sector.
The President also asked the SOEs Minister to provide the world’s best cane seedlings to Indonesian farmers.
Meanwhile, on the occasion, Thohir said that Indonesia must produce bioethanol to reduce imports of fossil fuels.
His ministry has conducted benchmarking with Brazil, which has managed to encourage the processing of cane into bioethanol.
According to the minister, in keeping with the government’s priority to develop the food and energy ecosystems, Indonesia’s dependence on international supply chains for the two commodities must be overcome.
Hence, the government is continuing to encourage the downstreaming of sugar, palm oil, and nickel, rather than the industrialization of the commodities.
Thohir has urged PTPN to increase the production of sugar and bioethanol with research octane number (RON) of up to 130.
He said he expected that the utilization of bioethanol as a substitute for fossil fuels will improve state finances.