Indonesia to stop LPG and fuel imports by 2030; govt reports 4,394 new Covid-19 cases for 1,677,274-total

Shoppers wearing protective face masks walk past stores at Tanah Abang market in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Sunday, May 2, 2021. Indonesia could face a challenging road back to fiscal discipline as the government expects to keep spending heavily to support the economy next year. - Bloomberg

JAKARTA, May 2 (Reuters): Indonesia will stop both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel imports by 2030 and plans big changes to its energy infrastructure to meet that target, a top energy official has confirmed.

President Joko Widodo has tasked the National Energy Council, a board made up of seven ministries and other stakeholders that plans energy policy, to devise a strategy to allow for a halt on LPG and fuel imports, said the council's secretary general, Djoko Siswanto.

Once a former OPEC member, maturing fields and investment lags has turned Indonesia to a net importer of oil and gas. The president has for years announced steps to cut imports, in a bid to contain the country's current account deficit.

The strategy includes building or upgrading refineries, converting refineries to biodiesel refineries, increasing domestic LPG production and building a gas pipeline with a target of 10 million gas connections, Djoko told CNBC Indonesia in a live telecast.

"The government will encourage gas infrastructure development for public transportation," Djoko said, adding that the government was also optimising biofuel production and promoting electric vehicles.

Indonesia is aiming to increase domestic crude oil production to 1 million barrels per day by 2030 by developing new oil fields, using enhanced oil recovery methods in existing oil fields and boosting production in marginal fields, Djoko added.

Indonesia, the world's top exporter of thermal coal, has long vowed to cut LPG imports while maximising use of domestic coal assets, and creating jobs in a downstream coal industry, Djoko said, reiterating plans to convert coal to dimethyl ether as a substitute to LPG.

The Covid-19 cases in Indonesia rose by 4,394 within one day to 1,677,274, with the death toll adding by 144 to 45,796, the Health Ministry said on Sunday (May 2), reported Xinhua.

According to the ministry, 3,740 more people were discharged from hospitals, bringing the total number of recovered patients to 1,530,718.

The virus has spread to all the country's 34 provinces.

Within the past 24 hours, Jakarta recorded 854 new cases, West Java 672, Riau 583, West Sumatra 270 and East Nusa Tenggara 252.
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