Policy Briefs

ExIm: Borneo Refinery Ask Doubled


The Export-Import Bank of the US announced that September’s ask for $49 million long-term loan guarantee to support the export of approximately $36 million worth of U.S. engineering services and refining equipment has been doubled. The application is now for a $99.7 million direct loan to support the export of approximately $64 million in U.S. equipment and services. There has been no change in the expected output of the facility.

The Balikpapan Refinery Expansion is being carried out by the refinery’s owner, Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas producer PT Pertamina (Persero). The project is part of the Indonesian government’s Refinery Development Master Plan program to revamp and upgrade five refineries in the country.

Pertamina signed a $1.5bn loan agreement with the South Korean Eximbank to finance the Balikpapan refinery expansion in July 2019. 

Nikkei Asia reports Pertamina has been struggling to find international partners to jointly invest in projects aimed at upgrading Indonesia’s aging refineries. Saudi Aramco pulled out of an upgrade in 2020 at a refinery in Central Java province, after signing a joint venture agreement with Pertamina in 2016. In October 2022 Pertamina announced plans to invest up to $50 billion to build and expand refineries this year, with nearly half ($24 Billion) going to a greenfield project in East Java with Russian state energy company Rosneft.

American engineering consultant Bechtel International carried out the front-end engineering design studies for the Balikpapan project, while Korea’s Hyundai Engineering and Australian engineering consultant WorleyParsons are providing engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) services for the expansion. Suppliers include France’s Axens Technologies and Air Liquide for process technologies, UK-based calibration instrument supplier WIKA for site development and construction, and Spain-based oil and gas company Novargi to deliver the waste heat recovery. In 2020 Siemens was awarded the contract to supply compression and power generation equipment.


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