Indonesia achieved a significant milestone in renewable energy as the first commercial BioCNG (Compressed Natural Gas) or Biomethane plant officially commenced operations on January 22, 2024. Located in Blangkahan POM, Desa Blangkahan, Kecamatan Kuala, Langkat Regency, North Sumatra, the plant is constructed by PT KIS Biofuel Indonesia.
This marks a breakthrough in enhancing the utilization of renewable energy in Indonesia. It is the first plant in a development plan of 25 units, each with a Bio-CNG or Biometane production capacity of 15,500 cubic meters per day, or totaling 387,500 cubic meters for all the 25 units per day.
The plant is estimated to reduce 3.7 million tons of CO2 annually and generate 3.7 million carbon credits per year. Biometane is a renewable natural gas produced from organic materials, also known as renewable gas.
Edi Wibowo, Director of Bioenergy at the Directorate General of New and Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation (EBTKE) at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, expressed his hopes for the successful operation of the BioCNG plant and its significant contribution to supporting energy transition in Indonesia.
“Especially in the utilization of biogas as energy, we highly appreciate the success of the first BioCNG Plant Development project carried out by the KIS Group in Langkat,” Edi said on Tuesday, January 23, 2024.
Edi conveyed that in support of the energy transition program, the Indonesian government has formulated targets, strategies, and gradual and rapid programs for the use of renewable energy through various documents and policies. One such target is the utilization of New and Renewable Energy (EBT) reaching 23 percent by 2025, as outlined in the National Energy Policy.
The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has also devised the Grand National Energy Strategy (GSEN) to reduce dependence on fossil energy consumption, including breakthroughs under study such as large-scale biogas utilization for industries as a replacement for LPG, known as Bio-CNG or CBG (Compressed Biomethane Gas).
To develop BioCNG, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has undertaken various efforts, including issuing the SNI 9164 Biometane for Fuel in 2023 with BSN and initiating the go-live and launching of the Business Licensing for KBLI (Indonesian Business Standard Classification) 35203 bio gas procurement, overseeing the licensing of biogas as a fuel with the Ministry of Investment/BKPM.
Additionally, the ministry has collaborated with several partners to develop BioCNG projects, including plant construction, pre-feasibility studies, economic studies, trade policy studies, and BioCNG raw material studies.
Edi hopes that in the not-too-distant future, BioCNG can be utilized to replace non-subsidized LPG for industrial and commercial sectors (12 and 50 kg), becoming one of the options in the government’s effort to reduce LPG imports.
CEO of PT KIS Biofuel Indonesia, Ragunath, expressed his hope that Indonesia will become the largest BioCNG producer in Asia.
“I want to express my gratitude to Unilever, AEP, and the KIS Group for their tremendous support. I believe in Indonesia,” he said.
The inauguration of the BioCNG plant signifies a pivotal step towards sustainable energy solutions and environmental conservation in Indonesia.