Indonesia JV to Supply Palm Catalysts

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PT Pertamina Lubricants and two other Indonesian companies have formed a joint venture aimed at developing catalysts that can be used in the processing of palm oil.

The companies are hoping that their alliance, PT Katalis Sinergi Indonesia, will develop domestic materials that can help maximize returns from the palm industry.

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Pertamina’s partners in the venture are Karawang-based PT Pupuk Kujang, a supplier of fertilizers and other chemicals, and Bandung-based PT Rekacipta Inovasi, a firm that supports patent and startup innovation. The joint venture will work with Indonesian universities as part of a national strategy to develop natural resources.

Pertamina Lubricants has a 38% stake in the joint venture, while Pupuk Kujang and Rekacipta Inovasi have stakes of 37% and 25%, respectively. The partners are seeding the alliance with 170 billion rupiah (U.S. $12.1 million) to build a catalyst factory.

In a Dec. 30 press release, Pertamina Lubricants Director Ageng Giriyono said catalysts are important in the processing of oils and chemicals – including vegetable oils – into value-added products but that Indonesia has few catalyst producers. He expressed hopes that Katalis Sinergi will produce catalysts that can be used by Indonesian companies and eventually compete in world markets.

Construction of the factory is scheduled to begin during the second quarter of this year and to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.

Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, having accounted for half of global supply in 2017. Palm oil is one of the most widely consumed vegetable oils, used in foods, cosmetics, biofuels and pharmaceuticals, as well as to make lubricating base stocks.