Four Asian energy companies have entered into a joint study agreement to explore the potential of a clean natural gas and liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Indonesia involving the production of biomethane from palm oil mill effluent (POME).

Announced today (April 25th), the project aims to support a transition to more carbon neutral energy sources in Asia. 

Despite helping generate 4.5% of Indonesia’s GDP, POME is responsible for the production of a significant amount of methane emissions, a gas that is said to have 25 times larger impact on global warming compared to carbon dioxide (CO2). 

To help mitigate the negative environmental impact of POME, the project aims to convert the methane into biofuels before supplying it through the existing gas grid, meeting heightened demand for natural gas and helping to reduce Scope 1 emissions in Indonesia. 

The joint study, comprised of PT PERTAMINA (Pertamina), Osaka Gas, Co., Ltd. (Osaka Gas), JGC Holdings Corporation (JGC), and Inpex Corporation (INPEX), will see the partners cooperating on research and development of technologies and solutions relating to the production of biomethane from POME resources in Sumatra and Kalimantan and supplying it to consumers across the country. 

Carbon crediting systems will also be explored, in addition to biomethane certification schemes and biomethane/bio LNG marketing opportunities. 

Raw material for the project will be supplied from Pertamina’s facilities and locations while Osaka Gas will enable the introduction of biomethane to reduce CO2 emissions in both Indonesia and Japan. 

INPEX plans to work with its partners to provide clean LNG bunkering solutions at the Bontang LNG Terminal in Bontang, Indonesia, and JGC will deliver management and engineering solutions to the project.