BEKASI, Indonesia, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- The Indonesian government has speeded up efforts to shift the reliance from fossil fuel to abundant gas in an attempt to boost efficiency and diminish air pollution, a minister said here on Tuesday.
Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Jero Wacik stressed that the government has decided to bolster the move by putting priority in allocating rising domestic gas outputs to comply with rising demand of energy in the domestic market.
The state-owned gas distribution firm PT Perusahaan Gas Negara, or PGN, kicked off operation of one of its gas refueling stations in Bekasi of West Java on Tuesday, putting the total gas refueling facility jointly set up by the firm and the state oil and gas firm PT Pertamina to 22 nationwide, Wacik said.
"I call on vehicles to shift their power from fuel to gas, it costs cheaper," he said on his speech at the inauguration of the station.
President Director of PT PGN Hendi Prio Santoso disclosed that the firm plans to establish 16 other such stations in West Java, Riau and East Java.
"The inauguration of this station indicates the supports of PGN to the government conversion program from oil to gas," he said at the event.
Going forward, Minister Wacik disclosed that the government aspire to gradually add the number of the gas refueling stations by up to 100 units in years to come and 1,000 units in the longer- term.
He noticed that the government has also set up a mobile- refueling gas station at the capital of Jakarta.
Minister Wacik said that the government would put shipment of the commodity on back banner, yet still respects on the contract commitment made earlier.
"Don't be too much for export, the gas must be allocated more for us," he said.
Indonesia has scrambled to cope with dwindling oil outputs due to aging wells and bearish of fresh investment. Hence, the country exited from OPEC membership in 2008.
Rising energy demand has hiked the consumption of subsidized- fuel in the country, hence, the country bear the brunt of soared importation of the commodity and badly risk on current account deficit.
Indonesia chalks up huge array of 104 trillion cubic natural gas reserve and only 3.7 billion barrel for oil, according to data from the country's upstream regulator, SKK Migas.