Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Prof.Widjajono Partowidagdo, Ph.D, asserted that the government plans to raise gasoline prices next April, which will be accompanied by the readiness of other related agencies, such as the Department of Transportation. Without any coordination between them, the gasoline price increase would not be running well.
"It won’t be running well if fuel prices go up while the condition of public transport, for example, is still bad," said Widjajono at the Focus Group Discussion on Gasoline Conversion to Gas held by UGM Faculty of Engineering at the SCBD Energy Building Jakarta, Thursday (1/3).
Widjajono was sure the fuel price raise on one side will still give a benefit to the community, because there are still some funds that can be used for other sectors other than subsidized fuel management. Moreover, this time some universities have also developed fuel saving devices and converter kit.
"So, if there is an increase in fuel prices, it will not be significantly felt because of fuel saving devices that can save 30-50% fuel," he explained.
Widjajono once again explained the government's efforts to continue to look for some alternative fuels other than gasoline and CNG. Government began to seek other alternatives to convert the use of fuel with Biofuel. One of them is the Sunan pecans because it contains vegetable oil for better and more economical biodiesel fuel.
"This is what we also try to encourage in regions that used to be coal mines because it can also work as the conservation plants," Widjajono added.
In the same place, Directorate General of Oil and Gas, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Ing. Evita Legowo, said that the planned increase in fuel prices is still discussed with Parliament, including subsidized fuel settings and change of the 2012 State Budget. Evita also agreed with Widjajono that the fuel diversification program to gas is aimed to enhance national energy security both for short and long terms. A Presidential regulation that governs it, says Evita, is currently being prepared.
"Well, specifically for public transport, the converters kit for both CNG and LGV types will be supplied free of charge," said Evita.
Meanwhile, lecturer of UGM Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Dr. Jayan Sentanuhady, assessed the policy to reduce consumption of subsidized fuel by replacing it to gas is a very good idea, because it will significantly reduce the subsidy. Related to the conversion program plan in April, Jayan said this needs to be supported, although it is necessary to conduct advance study of issues relating to gas safety, security of gas supply and infrastructure readiness.
"Fuel conversion to CNG will release pressure from the government budget due to ongoing increase of transportation energy subsidies," Jayan explained.
The government also needs to ensure security of supply of gas in each gas counter, gas counter equitable development with its infrastructure, as well as provision of converter kit for private cars. In addition, safety education needs to be disseminated to the users as well as studies on the use of CNG in the long term of the machine reliability.
“Also, do not forget the standardization development of components, installation, technicians, and maintenance prior to the mass implementation," he concluded.
The Forum Group Discussion from March 1-2 is followed by various elements, academics, government and industry. Recommendations and results of this FGD will be submitted to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.