US$1.1b PGN pipeline expected to come onstream next month

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has been drafted in to inaugurate a US$1.1 billion pipeline linking South Sumatra and West Java some time before the end of this year.

The pipeline, which will be operated by state-owned gas distributor PT Perusahaan Gas Negara (PGN), will supply between 300 million and 400 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMSCFD).

PGN's newly appointed president director, Sutikno, said Friday in Jakarta that the construction work was now 85 percent complete.

"We hope that operations can commence on Dec. 21," he said following an extraordinary shareholders, which endorsed his appointment as the company's top executive, replacing WMP Simanjuntak.

The project, comprising two pipeline tracks spanning a total of 1,106 kilometers from Grissik in South Sumatra to Rawa Maju in West Java, started last year.

"We hope we will be able to get additional gas supplies of about 300 million MMSCFD next year, thanks to this project," said PGN finance director Djoko Pramono.

The company said last year that when the pipeline came onstream, the company would see its 2007 revenues triple from the Rp 4.4 trillion (US$488 million) recorded in 2004.

The company booked a 22 percent revenue increase to Rp 5.4 trillion in 2005, as compared to 2004.

The gas distributor's net profit in the first nine months of this year rose 251 percent to Rp 1.5 trillion from Rp 427 billion a year earlier, while revenues from gas sales and transmission as of Sept. 30 jumped to Rp 4.9 trillion from Rp 3.9 trillion in the same period last year.

The meeting also endorsed the appointment of new development director Adil Abas, and also appointed Sutikno to double up as the company's business director.

Djoko was also named director for general affairs, while Simandjuntak was appointed to the company's board of commissioners.

PGN is the dominant player in the Indonesian natural gas market.

Next year, the company is planning to build another pipeline connecting Medan in North Sumatra and Duri in Riau. The 465-kilometer pipeline, which will have a total capacity of 250 MMSCFD, will cost about $490 million.(09)
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