|Although still a member of OPEC, Indonesia became a net importer of oil in 2004 due to declines in production and increases in consumption. Source: EIA|
Antara. Indonesia’s plan to develop biofuels as a substitute for fossil fuels may require a total investment of about 200 trillion rupiah (US$22 billion), according to Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
Yusgiantoro, who also served a term as OPEC president, said this estimate covers the costs of building 6 million hectares of plantations and the accompanying downstream business infrastructure.
On 3 July, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the country should focus on making biofuels from four commodities: palm oil, cassava, jatropha, and sugar left over from processing.
The government has assigned a special team to draft a master project plan to include funding, land acquisition, supporting infrastructure, processing plants and marketing and distribution networks. The team is expected to have finished its work by the end of this month.
Separately, the energy ministry’s research and development head Nenny Sri Utami said the government plans to set up 11 biofuel processing plants. Industry Minister Fahmi Idris was earlier quoted as saying that biofuel is expected to reduce Indonesia’s fuel oil consumption by about 10%, or 4.1 million kiloliters (1 billion gallons US).