PT Pertamina and Saudi Aramco ink pact for refinery upgrading project in Indonesia

Updated 01 December 2015
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PT Pertamina and Saudi Aramco ink pact for refinery upgrading project in Indonesia

CILACAP: Indonesia’s PT Pertamina and Saudi Aramco have signed a heads of agreement (HoA) to formalize key business principles for joint ownership, operation and upgrade of the Cilacap Refinery located in Central Java, Indonesia as part of Pertamina’s Refinery Development Master Plan (RDMP).
The signing was held during Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla’s inauguration of the newly commissioned Residual Fluid Catalytic Cracking (RFCC) facility at the Cilacap Refinery, and the kick off of the Blue Sky project, both of which are designed to produce higher quality gasoline.
Also present were ministers from the Indonesian cabinet; the Saudi Ambassador to Indonesia Mustafa Al-Mubarak; Saudi Aramco President and CEO Amin H. Nasser; and PT Pertamina President Director and CEO Dwi Soetjipto.
The proposed Cilacap Refinery upgrade will enable the refinery to process more sour crudes, meet high quality product specifications (Euro IV) and produce basic petrochemicals and lubricant base oils.
The capacity expansion to 370 MBD will help Indonesia meet its increasing demand of refined products, lubricant base oils and petrochemicals. The agreement includes a long-term supply agreement for Arabian crudes to Cilacap refinery.
This HoA will pave the way for the next phase of development within the scope of collaboration between the two parties. The Basic Engineering Design Study for the Cilacap refinery upgrade is expected to commence soon and be completed by 2016.
RDMP is part of Pertamina’s mission as a national energy company to produce and market fuel products for Indonesia. RDMP will increase the competitiveness of Indonesia’s refineries while increasing domestic supply security.
“Indonesia is a rising powerhouse in the global economy, and has long deep rooted trade and cultural ties with Saudi Arabia. It’s refining sector has enormous potential, and with Indonesia’s fast-growing demand for refined products, Saudi Aramco’s role in Cilacap can help fuel this country’s coming era of development and prosperity,” said Amin Nasser, president and CEO of Saudi Aramco at the signing ceremony.
Participation in the RDMP will offer Saudi Aramco a major growth component of its global Downstream expansion portfolio aspiration, designed to make Saudi Aramco the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals company.
The investment would take place within a high growth petroleum demand in South East Asia which has been earmarked in the company’s downstream strategy.
In July 2014, Pertamina offered Saudi Aramco and other strategic partners the opportunity to participate in its RDMP to upgrade and expand five existing domestic refineries (Cilacap; Balongan; Dumai; Plaju; and Balikpapan) from 820 MBD of aggregate processing capacity to 1,680 MBD.
Saudi Aramco was selected by Pertamina as a strategic partner for three of the five refineries: Cilacap and Balongan in Java; and Dumai in Sumatra.
Saudi Aramco signed a MOU on December 10, 2014 giving the company exclusivity to conduct a feasibility study jointly with Pertamina for the three refinery expansions and negotiate key business principles.


No need for more talks over draft budget: Lebanon finance minister

Updated 21 May 2019
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No need for more talks over draft budget: Lebanon finance minister

  • Lebanon’s proposed austerity budget may please international lenders but it could enrage sectors of society
  • Lebanon has one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens at 150 percent of GDP

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s finance minister said on Tuesday there was no need for more talks over the 2019 draft budget, seen as a vital test of the government’s will to reform, although the foreign minister signalled the debate may go on.
The cabinet says the budget will reduce the deficit to 7.6% of gross domestic product (GDP) from last year’s 11.2%. Lebanon has one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens at 150% of GDP.
“There is no longer need for too much talking or anything that calls for delay. I have presented all the numbers in their final form,” Finance Minister Ali Hassan Khalil said.
But Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil suggested the debate may go on, telling reporters: “The budget is done when it’s done.”
While Lebanon has dragged its feet on reforms for years, its sectarian leaders appear more serious this time, warning of a catastrophe if there is no serious action. Their plans have triggered protests and strikes by state workers and army retirees worried about their pensions.
President Michel Aoun on Tuesday repeated his call for Lebanese to sacrifice “a little“: “(If) we want to hold onto all privileges without sacrifice, we will lose them all.”
“We import from abroad, we don’t produce anything ... So what we did was necessary and the citizens won’t realize its importance until after they feel its positive results soon,” Aoun said, noting Lebanon’s $80 billion debt mountain.
A draft of the budget seen by Reuters included a three-year freeze on all forms of hiring and a cap on bonus and overtime benefits.
It also includes a 2% levy on imports including refined oil products and excluding medicine and primary inputs for agriculture and industry, said Youssef Finianos, minister of public works and transport.
“DEVIL IN THE DETAIL“
Marwan Mikhael, head of research at Blominvest Bank, said investors would welcome the additional efforts in the latest draft to cut the deficit.
“There will be some who claim it is not good because they were hit by the decline in spending or increased taxes, but it should be well viewed by the international community,” he said.
Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics, said: “The numbers will be of some comfort to investors, but the devil will be in the detail.”
“Even if the authorities do manage to rein in the deficit, it probably won’t be enough to stabilize the debt ratio and some form of restructuring looks increasingly likely over the next couple of years,” Tuvey said.
The government said in January it was committed to paying all maturing debt and interest payments on the predetermined dates.
Lebanon’s main expenses are a bloated public sector, interest payments on public debt and transfers to the loss-making power generator, for which a reform plan was approved in April. The state is riddled with corruption and waste.
Serious reforms should help Lebanon tap into some $11 billion of project financing pledged at a Paris donors’ conference last year.
Once approved by cabinet, the draft budget must be debated and passed by parliament. While no specific timetable is in place for those steps, Aoun has previously said he wants the budget approved by parliament by the end of May.
On Monday, veterans fearing cuts to their pensions and benefits burned tires outside the parliament building where the cabinet met. Police used water cannon to drive them back.