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Indonesia govt drafting roadmap to develop Masela block surrounding area

JAKARTA ( – Learning from the Arun and Bontang LNG projects, the government under the coordination of the National Development Planning (Bappenas) is drafting a roadmap to develop the surrounding area of Masela Block in Maluku.

The aim is that the giant gas block development will trigger the economic development of the surrounding area or islands in Maluku.

Minister for National Development Planning and Head of the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas) Bambang Brodjonegoro said in developing supporting infrastructure facilities of Masela Block, there should be no boundaries between private and public area. Nevertheless, the safety and security of the block remains the priority.

“From the perspective of planning, there should no borders between public and private areas. The safety of the LNG plant is a must, but other activities should also be mixed with the surrounding areas. Therefore, a city that will be formed will not be an artificial one,” Bambang said.

There should be no exclusive enclave for private, but a public place with standarded security, he noted.

At present, his ministry is drafting a plan to develop the surrounding area of Masela Block in Arafura Sea. At present, the government is yet to determine where the onshore LNG plant will be developed, it could be in Saum Laki Island or other islands nearby the offshore Masela Block.

“We are drafting it. We use reference from other cities in the world, which has gas industry development, that has avoid the creaton of an enclave,” he said.

Bambang explained that a number of infrastructure projects will be developed to support the development of Masela Block. The expenditure will eb adjusted with the needs, such as electricity, fresh water, road and others. “We have yet to set a target as we don’t know yet when the Masela project construction will start. “But we will try to finish it as soon as possible,” he said.

Masela Block is developed by Inpex Corporation of Japan, holding 65% of working interest, while its partner Shell holds 35% interest.

The project development was supposed to have started through deploying floating LNG (FLNG). However, the Joko Widodo government has declared that the processing facilities should be built onshore, leading to changing the whole plan and development scheme of the project.

Inpex is now revising the development plan of the project (*)

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