Jakarta. IHI Gasification Indonesia, a subsidiary of Japan-based IHI Corporation, commenced operations on Thursday of a prototype plant that converts brown coal to gas, marking the first step for a Japanese technology that will provide an alternative raw material for the production of fertilizer in Indonesia.
The plant, dubbed the Twin IHI Gasifier (Tigar) Prototype Plant Project, converts abundant but rarely used Indonesian brown coal into fertilizer feedstock. It is located in the Pupuk Kujang industrial complex in Cikampek, West Java. Pupuk Kujang is a unit of state-owned Pupuk Indonesia.
Speaking after a ceremony to mark the start of operations, Pupuk Indonesia president director Arifin Tasrif said the company’s demand for natural gas for fertilizer by 2050 would be 50 percent higher than current consumption of 700 million to 800 million standard cubic feet per day.
Indonesian fertilizer companies often compete with local power generators, other manufacturers, and exporters in sourcing gas from domestic gas producers.
National Democratic Party (NasDem) lawmaker Kurtubi, a member of House of Representatives Commission VII, which oversees energy and mining, said during the ceremony that the nation’s abundant gas resources are mostly located in remote regions, which often lack connections to Indonesia’s industrial centers.
Montty Girianna, a director for energy, minerals and mining at the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, said the new technology was appropriate for Indonesia and that it could be used immediately.
IHI Gasification Indonesia will not sell its gas to the country’s fertilizer industry until completing a complete assessment of the plant capacity by 2017. Until then, all gas produced at the plant will be incinerated.
Daizo Takayanagi, a manager at IHI Corporation, said the plant will consume about 50 metric tons of brown coal a day.