Japan understands RI`s LNG export policy, says VP

Tokyo (Antara News) - Japan understands Indonesia`s position that in the future it will export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Japan only if there is a production surplus, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said here on Wednesday.

"They want us to give certainty on whether or not we will continue supplying them with LNG," he told Indonesian journalisits covering his visit to Japan.

In reponse to questions from businessmen and government officials, Kalla stated that Indonesia would honour all LNG contracts that remained. He said however that extending the contracts later would not be easy because "our need for gas is also huge."

He said Indonesia had to close three fertilizer plants, namely Asean Fertilizer, Pupuk Iskandar Muda I and II, in order to be able to meet its obligations in LNG contracts.

"Kujang fertilizer plant was affected, electricity supply in Jakarta was disrupted because of gas shortage. In view of that we will apologize if later we will only export LNG to Japan if there is a production surplus," he said.

He said "if Japan wants cheaper industries they should come to Indonesia. That is the way out and they understand it."

He said Indonesia`s LNG policy was now clear and Japan`s need for the product was also clear.

He said there were contracts that would expire in 2008 and in 2010. "They will make calculations after the expiration of the contracts," he said.(*)
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