Gas supply from Indonesia to Singapore will cease by 2023

Photo of Senoko Power Plant from Kansai Electric Power

By 2023, Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry is looking to stop supplying gas to Singapore via the Suban Blok Corridor Field. This is done so that the gas supply can be diverted back to domestic consumption in Indonesia.

“Gas is still abundant in Sumatra. Gas supply to Singapore will end in 2023 and will be used for domestic consumption,” said Indonesia’s Energy and Mineral Resources Minister, Arifin Tasrif, in a written statement on 29 November 2019.

According to Mr Tasrif, the current gas supply will be diverted to Duri Dumai pipelines to cater to the domestic consumption primarily on Sumatra Island. Several wells will also supply additional gas to Sumatra Island. The wells and the prices are now under negotiation with the Indonesian government.

A few pipelines connecting Jakarta with Cirebon, Gresik and Semarang will transport gas supply to Java Island. This gas supply will come from Jambi Merang and Blok Saka Kemang.

As for gas supply to Kalimantan, it will be transported by the Trans Kalimantan pipeline. The gas supply will come from Blok East Natuna.

The agreement signed between Singapore and the Indonesian Ministry stipulated that 140 million cubic feet of gas per day was to be supplied to Singapore over a 17-year period.  This gas supply was sourced from Gajah Baru Field in West Natuna.

About 80% of Singapore’s power generation comes from natural gas, the cleanest of the fossil fuels. There are four main power plants in Singapore that help to generate sufficient electricity for the country. These power plants are located in Keppel Merlimau Cogen, Senoko, Tuas and Pulau Seraya.  Additional capacity is supplied by firms such as Cogens and Sembawang in the petrochemical industries. Firms involved in petrochemical processing need steam as the heat source and the by-product of that can be used for electricity generation. This excess capacity allows the country to be in the carbon negative bracket, which means that it is not a net emitter of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

As of today, Singapore produces more electricity than it actually consumes. The electrical capacity generated by the country was 13,614.4 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of last year, but peak demand of electricity was merely around 7,000 MW on average. Therefore, the country in fact has 48 per cent of unused capacity as it only utilises 52 per cent of total energy.

According to the Singapore’s Population White Paper in 2013, Singapore’s population is projected to hit 6.9 million people by 2030. Naturally, this rise in energy demand from increased population will become a cause of concern for the government to ensure that energy supply is sufficient for the future.

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