October 22, 2020

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Pertamina taps Honeywell UOP for greenfield biorefinery at Plaju, Cilacap revamp
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Photo courtesy of PT Pertamina

PT Pertamina (Persero) will use Honeywell UOP technologies to produce advanced biofuels at its Plaju and Cilacap refineries in Indonesia, Honeywell announced yesterday. The company will use UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process™ technology at its Plaju refinery in Palembang, South Sumatra, and UOP Ecofining™ technology at its Cilacap refinery in Central Java.

Pertamina is a state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta, Indonesia. The company is active in the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry, with total refining capacity of 1 million barrels per day (bpd).

UOP will provide technology licenses, basic engineering, specialty equipment, catalysts and training for the two projects in Indonesia. The biorefinery in Plaju will process 20,000 barrels per day of vegetable oils and fats to produce advanced biofuels such as renewable jet fuel, renewable diesel fuel and green liquefied petroleum gas at the Plaju refinery. UOP also will revamp the existing refinery at Cilacap to process 6,000 barrels per day of vegetable oils and fats to produce advanced biofuels.

“As one of the world’s top producers of biofuels, Indonesia is ramping up its investment in advanced biorefineries capable of producing fully fungible renewable fuel,” said Jim Andersen, business development director of UOP’s Renewable Fuels business. “Pertamina is acting on an opportunity to meet the growing demand for energy security of Indonesia by using renewable fuels and, as a long standing customer, chose to work with UOP to build a greenfield biorefinery at Plaju and revamp its Cilacap refinery. These refineries will enable Pertamina to meet the Indonesian government’s goals for renewable fuel production using domestic bio-based feedstocks.”

As the world’s fourth most populous nation, with 250 million people, Indonesia imports about 1.5 million barrels per day of refined products – roughly 30% more than its domestic production capacity.  According to the National Energy Policy in Indonesia, more than 5% of all energy must come from biofuel by 2025. The additional biofuel production capacity provided by the Plaju and Cilacap refineries will help to reduce Indonesia’s reliance on imported petroleum products, particularly low-sulphur fuels and at the same time, expected to support the local bio-economy and rural employment opportunities in agriculture.

“Pertamina, as the biggest energy company in Indonesia, is always aggressively looking forward for new and renewable energy solutions,” said Budi Santoso Syarif, deputy CEO of PT Kilang Pertamina International, the refinery and petrochemical business group of Pertamina. “The development of our biorefinery in Plaju and Cilacap is part of our plan to diversify our products while at the same time to show our commitment to sustainable energy.”

UOP has worked with Pertamina for nearly 50 years, licensing technologies to the company’s Plaju, Dumai, Cilacap, Balikpapan, Balongan, and Kasim refineries.

The UOP Ecofining process, jointly developed with Italian company Eni S.p.A, converts non-edible natural oils, animal fats and other waste feedstocks to Honeywell Green Diesel™, chemically identical to petroleum-based diesel fuel. Honeywell Green Diesel offers improved performance over FAME biodiesel and petroleum-based diesel fuel, and can be used as a fully fungible drop-in replacement in diesel vehicles with no modifications. It also features significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared with diesel fuel from petroleum, and offers a higher-cetane diesel value that provides better engine performance with fewer emissions.

Honeywell pioneered the sustainable aviation fuel market with its UOP Renewable Jet Fuel Process. Honeywell Green Jet Fuel™ produced by this process is blended seamlessly with petroleum-based jet fuel at commercial scale. When used in up to a 50% blend with petroleum-based jet fuel, Honeywell Green Jet Fuel requires no changes to aircraft technology and meets all critical specifications for flight. 

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