Indonesia’s oil and gas corporation PT Pertamina (Persero) and railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), both state-owned, are testing Liquefied Natural gas (LNG) as a fuel for rail transportation. Static and dynamic tests have been carried out at Balai Yasa, the rail services yard in Yogyakarta. Activities that are part of the rail conversion program from high speed diesel (HSD) to liquefied natural gas (LNG) are said to be the first in Southeast Asia.
Vice President Corporate Communications of Pertamina, Wianda Pusponegoroi, explains both Pertamina and KAI are involved in testing the use of LNG as an operational fuel for railways as part of government efforts to transition state owned enterprises (SOEs) to alternative fuels such as natural gas, thereby reducing petroleum use.
Wianda forecasts that, if implemented for Indonesia’s railways, the use of LNG could generate savings in fuel expenditures of Rp 84.5 billion/year as well as provide environmental benefits. If the pilot is successful, Pertamina could begin selling LNG to KAI on a commercial scale from April 2018.
LNG is currently sourced from Bontang, East Kalimantan. Pertamina plans to set up refuelling infrastructure at strategic locations along rail routes.
(Sources: Pertamina and KAI)