"We are discussing where they can build the fastest. They talked about Bontang. Will Bontang be faster to build, or will it be the one in North Sumatera, we are basically looking into it."
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The Ministry of State-owned Enterprises (SOE) received a visit from the Energy Minister of Oman, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy. At the meeting, Al Rumhy said that his country's oil companies are interested in investing in Indonesia.

Most of the investment would be in the construction and development of oil refineries, which is a priority for Indonesia. SOE Minister Rini Soemarno said that one company in particular, Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C., had expressed interest in building refineries in Bontang, North Kalimantan, and Kuala Tanjung, North Sumatera. (Read: Government Reviews Construction of 6 New Refineries).

Rini responded to the offer by reviewing which project can be worked on the soonest."We are discussing where they can build the fastest. They talked about Bontang. Will Bontang be faster to build, or will it be the one in North Sumatera, we are basically looking into it," she said at her office in Jakarta Friday (12/8).

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The government is in need of substantial funding to develop a number of oil and gas projects, including refinery construction. In addition to building new refineries, Pertamina also needs a lot of money to rejuvenate old refineries. (Read: Scheme Changed, Iran Given Offer to Co-develop Bontang Refinery).

On the same occasion the SOE Ministry's Deputy for Energy, Logistics, Regional and Tourism Businesses Edwin Hidayat Abdullah said that the Omani visit went beyond discussing the Bontang refinery. "Oman has only just expressed an interest in refinery investment. They are now surveying Bontang and Kuala Tanjung,"he said.

However, the investment plan in Bontang could be tricky because the government applies a government-to-business (G2B) partnership scheme for refineries, which prohibits Pertamina from directly appointing a partner.

Therefore, the development scheme needs to be revised to allow direct appointment of a partner by Pertamina. That would let Pertamina choose to have Oman as its work partner. (Read: Bontang Refinery Scheme Revision Requires Energy Minister's Approval).

Pertamina’s President Director Dwi Sutjipto claimed that the government plans to change the scheme to allow direct appointment. "At the moment, Bontang is still under a G2B scheme. But the construction could take some time, which is why the scheme is going to be changed to the one used for the Tuban Refinery (direct appointment)," Dwi said when releasing Pertamina's engineers to technology specialists in Jakarta Wednesday (10/8).

However, the scheme change must await the approval of Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Arcandra Tahar. According to the ministry's Director of Downstream Business Development, Setyorini Tri Hutami, there has been no instruction for a scheme change. "The change is just talk for now," she said at the Energy Ministry building Wednesday (10/8).

The Tuban and Bontang refinery projects are still being processed under the coordination of the Committee for the Acceleration of Provision of Priority Infrastructure (KPPIP) led by the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs. The ministry's Energy Deputy Monty Girianna said they had not received a proposal about the scheme change. "We haven’t got one yet," he said.