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Indonesia’s state-owned energy company PT Pertamina has teamed up with three Japanese gas companies to conduct a feasibility study on bio-methane production from palm oil mill waste (POME) and its potential to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Indonesia, the company said.

The collaboration between Pertamina, Osaka Gas, JGC Holdings Corporation (JGC) and Inpex Corporation (Inpex) will conduct project feasibility studies, including cooperation in the research and development of technology and solutions related to bio-methane production from POME sources located in Sumatra and Kalimantan, according to the 12 May statement.

At a later date, the bio-methane produced would be channelled through Pertamina's gas network, the company said.

“In addition to developing New and Renewable Energy (EBT), this collaboration will help overcome environmental challenges… by converting palm oil waste into environmentally-friendly energy,” Pertamina acting vice president of Corporate Communication Heppy Wulansari said.

As part of the partnership, Pertamina would provide several facilities and study locations in Kalimantan and Sumatra, Wulansari said.

It is hoped that the collaboration would meet the natural gas demand from industrial and household sectors and would expand development of the company's natural gas network, the statement said.

Pertamina said the project would also examine opportunities to take advantage of carbon credit mechanisms and bio-methane certification schemes to secure carbon neutrality and, in addition, would examine marketing opportunities for bio-methane or bio-LNG and bunker fuel, including exports of bio-LNG to Japan and other countries.

Osaka Gas, through its Daigas Group brand, will contribute to the collaboration through bio-methane production technology, JGC will provide its programme management and engineering capabilities, and INPEX will explore opportunities to provide clean LNG bunkering solutions at the Bontang LNG Terminal.

The project is part of the Asia Energy Transition Initiative 2 (AETI) launched by the Japanese government last year to promote sustainable economic growth.