Fri, 09 Aug 2002

Pertamina guarantees fuel supply in Jakarta

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The state oil and gas company Pertamina guaranteed on Thursday that the supply of fuel in Greater Jakarta would not be disrupted despite a massive 2-day strike by thousands of fuel truck drivers at the fuel depot in Plumpang, North Jakarta, on Wednesday and Thursday.

A spokesperson for the company's domestic market unit, Awi Adil, told Antara that the strike did not affect the supply of gasoline or diesel fuel to any gas stations, nor the supply of kerosene for industries.

According to Pertamina, the drivers were expected to resume normal operations on Friday.

Adil admitted, however, that on Wednesday, between 11,000 and 12,000 kiloliters of kerosene could not be transported and distributed to various parts of the Greater Jakarta.

"But one thing is for sure, we still have an adequate supply of kerosene and there will not be a scarcity," he claimed.

Despite the massive strike, Suhar, a vendor in Sumur Batu traditional market in Cempaka Baru, Central Jakarta confirmed that he had not had any problems with his supply of kerosene for household consumption.

"I didn't even know there was a strike, everything seemed normal," said Suhar.

Thousands of drivers went on strike on Wednesday to protest Pertamina's bureaucracy in the disbursement of the fuel which comes from the Plumpang fuel depot.

They complained that they had to get delivery orders from the company's offices on Jl. Kramat Raya, Central Jakarta, which is located far from Plumpang, before being allowed to fill up their trucks. They also protested the complicated procedures to obtain an ID card issued by the company.

General Manager of Pertamina's domestic marketing unit Sumarsono said he had fulfilled the drivers' request and would ease the bureaucracy.

"As their demands have been met, we expect the distribution process to be back to normal, but the drivers said they wanted to 'rest' today anyway," he said on Thursday morning.

On a given day, the Plumpang depot provides between 7,000 and 8,000 kiloliters of diesel fuel and between 7,000 and 7,500 kiloliters of gasoline to gas stations all over Greater Jakarta.