Thursday, July 13, 2017

Reports from the ESDM National Command Post during the 2017 Religious Holiday

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Prayogo Serevin Wisnumurti, M Dani Pratama Huzaini


Mr. Ahmad Rizal, a BPH Migas Committee Member during a press conference at the Post Secretariat at the Office of BPH Migas. Photo by: DAN

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (Kementerian  Energi dan Sumber Daya Mineral  - ESDM) and its Minister, Mr. Ignasius Jonan, instructed all ESDM units and stakeholders working within the energy and mineral-resources sector (including the state oil and natural gas company [Pertamina], the state-owned electricity company [PLN], and AKR Corporindo) to secure adequate energy supplies during the mass Lebaran homecoming and return for this year’s Eid Al-Fitr 1438 H religious holiday through the establishment of the ESDM national command post.
Mr. Jonan has also appointed the Head of the Downstream Oil-and-Gas Regulatory Agency (Badan Pengatur Hilir Minyak dan Gas Bumi – BPH Migas), Mr. Fanshurullah Asa, as the person in charge of the command post.
The main task of the command posts was to coordinate the provision and distribution of fuel oil (Bahan Bakar Minyak - BBM) and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), as well as to oversee electrical supply conditions across every region of the country and to monitor the potential for geological disasters, including the making of recommendations as regards geological disaster mitigation.
The command-post officers, which comprised of ESDM officials and staff, worked 24 hours a day for 28 days, from 10 June to 8 July 2017. In order to monitor the oil-and-gas, electricity and geology subsectors, the command-post officers were subdivided into two teams, each working 12 hours a day and in charge of coordinating and supervising key stakeholders assigned to all regions across Indonesia.
"We are also engaging in video conferencing with relevant authorities across the country’s various local regions, so that any problems which arise can be solved immediately," explained Mr. Ahmad Rizal, a BPH Migas Committee Member during a press conference held on Monday (10/7) at the Post Secretariat at the Office of BPH Migas.
During the press conference, Mr. Rizal elucidated upon the results of the implementation of the ESDM National Command Post for 2017 as follows: Firstly, field monitoring was undertaken in 24 points spread across the Provinces of Bali, West Java, East Java, Banten, Yogyakarta Special Province, Lampung, South Sulawesi, North Sumatra, South Sumatra, West Sumatra, Central Kalimantan, North Kalimantan, West Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, Jambi and Banka Belitung.
Secondly, the command post undertook a series of video conferences across the monitored areas, specifically in disaster-prone areas and in areas in which the provision and distribution of fuel have proved problematic in the past. This initiative was implemented in order to ensure that data relating to actual conditions in the field became available. Thirdly, the command post also coordinated and exchanged information with the national command post coordinated by the Ministry of Transportation.
During these command post coordination sessions, various types of information were shared, including information from the BBM and LPG sectors relating to whether the provision and distribution of fuel at a national level was being implemented smoothly or not. Mr. Rizal described one problem that was encountered within the BBM sector, specifically BBM shipments to gas stations in the Java’s northern coastal highways region which were experiencing some difficulties due to the persistent traffic density during Eid Al-Fitr H + 5 and H + 6. Fortunately however, stocks of BBM at the area’s gas stations remained sufficient to meet demand.
Several measures were also implemented by the command post in order to ensure the adequate distribution of BBM during both the homecoming and return periods for this year’s Eid Al-Fitr holiday, such as the 24-hour operation of BBM terminals; the setting up of mini gas stations across 71 points; the expanding of the official BBM fleet to 2,637 tankers; the operation of nine dispenser vehicles in rest areas which were not previously in possession of gas stations; the provision of several Pertamina kiosks and three AKR Corporindo kiosks which provided BBM in the form of small packages; as well as coordination with the police in order to safeguard BBM tankers in the event of excessive traffic density.
In the electricity Sector, Mr. Rizal explained that during this year’s Eid Al-Fitr holiday, no region experienced an electricity deficit, as the peak load for national electricity consumption fell well below total capacity.
During this year’s holiday, a number of regions were placed on permanent standby status, including Jayapura, Sorong and Bima-Sumabawa. Standby status indicates that the peak load in the area is above the capacity of the largest power plants to produce sufficient electricity within the distribution area. This status is considered normal however, and only requires that more attention be paid to such areas in order to prevent any problems arising.
In the geological sector, continuous monitoring of Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra was implemented during the Eid Al-Fitr holiday, as the volcano currently has an activity level of IV and there have been several eruptions in recent years.
In addition, there were a number of phreatic eruptions at the Sileri crater which lies atop Mount Dieng on 2nd of July 2017 and 12 tourists suffered minor to moderate injuries. The crater was subsequently closed to the public and monitoring of the crater’s gas content was then undertaken on a regular basis.
Recently, there has also been increased activity on Mount Merapi in West Sumatra, Mount Duko Dukono in Halmahera and Mount Ibu in Halmahera. Command posts have also registered 15 earthquakes, with the majority of these being concentrated in eastern Indonesia.
Finally, Minister Rizal addressed a number of areas that require consideration in relation to command-post activity, such as ensuring sufficient stocks of BBM in the future; special attention being paid to homecoming routes, tourism and critical areas; adequate organisation of BBM delivery timing; increasing the involvement of business entities working alongside Pertamina and AKR Corporindo; Improving coordination with stakeholders within the field of transportation; as well as delivery of BBM, Electricity, LPG and geology-related data in accordance with the command-post schedule.

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