Indonesia Keeps Premium for Sale, Offers Pertalite as Option
Jakarta. The Indonesian government has decided to keep the low-octane Premium fuel as the most affordable fuel for the public and will offer Pertalite only as a new option, State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Sumarno said on Monday.
Rini said state-owned energy company Pertamina cannot substitute Premium with its new grade of gasoline called Pertalite.
“I have talked with Sudirman Said [the energy and mineral resources minister], and we agreed to prioritize Premium because it is the only fuel affordable for public,” she said at the sideline of the 24th World Economic Forum on East Asia.
Pertamina last week said that it would phase out its 88-octane gasoline Premium and introduce Pertalite, with an octane rating of 90, in May.
The current price of Premium is Rp 7,300 (56 cents) per liter. Pertamina plans to sell Pertalite at a retail price of Rp 8,000 per liter.
Separately, Pertamina president director Dwi Soetjipto said the company would still provide Premium to the public.
“There has not been any plan to phase out Premium until there is a new regulation from the government. When Premium is still needed, we will still keep producing it, and it will be available at the gas stations,” he said at a press conference.
Pertamina is working on a permit and has preparations to distribute Pertalite.
Critics and economists had long blamed heavily subsidized Premium gasoline as the cause of Indonesia’s economy inefficiency.
President Joko Widodo’s administration had decided to stop subsidizing the cost of Premium since early this year in a move to save expenses in the state budget.
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