JAKARTA – Natural gas is recognized as having a strategic role in development, especially in the energy sector and national industry. The utilization of natural gas for domestic needs in the future is estimated to continue to increase as the economy grows. Maryati Abdullah, National Coordinator for Publish What You Pay Indonesia said, the increase is in line with national energy and industrial policies for domestic needs. The utilization of natural gas as a primary energy source is at least an alternative option with relatively lower emissions than coal and petroleum.

“The increasing use of natural gas is also in line with the national energy mix policy which targets gas use by 22% in 2025, 23% in 2030, and 24% in 2050,” she said in Jakarta, Tuesday (15/1/2019).

He said that more than 40% of the national gas production is currently still being exported. Maryati explained, although the policy has directed towards prioritizing gas for domestic needs, the actual use of gas for the electricity sector since 2009 has tended to be smaller than the existing contracts due to limited infrastructure.

“The high price of gas and the existence of other sources of commodities such as oil and coal are considered more competitive prices than natural gas. This includes the factor of a decrease in electricity load in several regions,” she said.

For the industrial sector, Maryati conveyed, the actual use of natural gas fluctuates due to the influence of gas prices which have an impact on the competitive value of goods. In addition, gas supply fell due to the natural decline in gas production.

“Meanwhile, in the fertilizer sector, the actual use of natural gas tends to be stable because it is a long-term contract. There are complaints that the high price of gas causes the low competitiveness of the fertilizer industry compared to other countries,” she concluded.