Pertamina to revive 14
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Pertamina to revive 14

May 18, 2023

Plumpang, North Jakarta on March 4, 2023, after a fire at a nearby fuel storage depot run by state energy firm Pertamina. - AFP

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network): Following a recent blaze at a fuel storage depot in Plumpang, North Jakarta, that killed more than a dozen people, state-owned oil and gas firm Pertamina has said it will begin work on a buffer zone it had intended to create in 2009 after a similar fire at the facility.

The plan to relocate settlements surrounding the fuel depot will affect 1,225 buildings in the area, according to Pertamina president director Nicke Widyawati, who announced the project at a Wednesday (March 15) meeting with House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy and mineral resources.

"The most urgent move at the moment is to build a buffer zone around the pipeline [that fueled the March 3 fire]," she told lawmakers.

"This had actually been planned when the 2009 Plumpang fire occurred. A 100-metre buffer zone had been planned, but due to various situations at that time it didn't happen."

She added that the buffer zone would be created over the next three months.

Nicke said it was unfeasible to stop operating the Plumpang storage facility entirely as it would affect the supply of fuel oil in 19 cities and liquefied petroleum gas in 22 cities.

Nonetheless, Pertamina will move some of the storage functions of the Plumpang depot to a facility in Kalibaru, North Jakarta, on a man-made island in an area controlled by state-owned port operator PT Pelindo.

State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir previously announced that Pertamina would relocate the Plumpang depot and add a buffer zone to the new facility.

Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Panjaitan then rejected the plan proposed by Erick.

At least 25 people were killed and dozens were injured after the inferno broke out along a fuel pipeline at the Plumpang depot on March 3.

The fire ravaged the densely populated adjacent neighbourhood of Tanah Merah before authorities were able to extinguish it.

Pertamina said a pipe leak had been detected before the blaze. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has ordered an audit of similar facilities across Indonesia in an effort to prevent other incidents from occurring.

Tags / Keywords: Indonesia , Pertamina , Plumpang , buffer , zone , fire

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