State-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina is strengthening its delivery capacity by ordering eight tanker vessels with a total investment of US$200 million.
The eight vessels to be developed by domestic shipbuilders are expected to be built by the end of this year.
"We challenge domestic shipbuilding companies to build vessels with bigger capacity and of higher standards. The national shipbuilding companies must be able to build vessels that are allowed to sail worldwide," said I Ketut Sudana, the new ship project coordinator with Pertamina.
"The tankers also have to be environmentally friendly, have good safety measures and meet international requirements," he added.
The three local shipbuilders are PT Anggrek Hitam Shipyard, PT Daya Radar Utama and PT Multi Ocean Shipyard. PT Anggrek Hitam will develop two vessels called MT Parigi and MT Pattimura and PT Daya Radar Utama will build the MT Panderman, MT Papandayan and MT Putri.
Meanwhile, PT Multi Ocean Shipyard will develop the MT Pasaman, MT Panjang and MT Pangrango.
Each of these vessels will have a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of approximately 17,500 metric tons.
The shipyard industry in the archipelago has been growing at a snailís pace. Most of the shipbuilders can only develop small or medium-sized vessels. In the past, companies such as Pertamina ordered tankers from overseas, because domestic companies couldn't meet the needed specifications.
According to Pertamina's data, the company's biggest locally made vessel is the MT Fastron, a medium-sized oil tanker produced by PT PAL with a capacity of 30,000 DWT.
Pertamina also expects domestic shipbuilders to increase the amount of locally sourced components in the construction of the eight vessels. Currently, the local content level for domestically built vessels is around 30 to 35 percent.
PT Daya Radar Utama said the development of a 17,500 DWT vessel, which would be 157 meters long, 28 meters wide and 12 meters high, usually needed 24 months. Daya Radar Utama's business development director, Steven Angga Prana, said Pertamina's order would create many jobs.
"For three ships we have to build, as many as 1,500 workers will be needed," Steven said.
The eight vessels in development are Pertamina's latest expansion. Figures from the company's website show that the company has 56 oil tankers and gas carriers of various sizes.
In 2014, Pertamina ordered a gas tanker from South Korea to distribute liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in the country. The tanker has a capacity of 84,000 cubic meters of LPG.
A number of vessels from domestic shipbuilders were also bought that year, such as MT Pagerungan and MT Pangkalan Brandan, built by PT PAL.
Figures from the Association of Indonesian Shipping and Offshore Industries (Iperindo) show that the country has a ship production capacity of around 900,000 DWT per year. However, only 40 percent of the total capacity is actually being used.
Source: The Jakarta Post
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