Thohir asks SOEs to convert tankers for oxygen distribution


Jakarta (ANTARA) –   The Indonesian government has directed state-owned enterprises, such as Pertamina and Pupuk Indonesia Group, to convert their tankers so they can help distribute oxygen amid a surge in coronavirus infections.

To tackle the transmission of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Indonesia, all stakeholders need to work hand-in-hand, State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Minister Erick Thohir said.

“That’s why, yesterday, we asked Pertamina and state-owned fertilizer companies to start aiding oxygen distribution through their tankers that are required to be converted,” he disclosed at a working meeting with House of Representatives’ Commission VI here on Thursday.

In response to the request, Krakatau Steel and state-owned fertilizer companies have started converting some extra facilities to produce oxygen since yesterday, he added.

“The demand for oxygen will hike day by day. So, like it or not, we need to accelerate (oxygen production), akin to medicine supply or the number of patient beds,” the minister emphasized.

As reported earlier, Thohir visited the enterprises to secure their support for meeting the oxygen needs of patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly during the enforcement of emergency public activity restrictions (PPKM). Some strategic SOEs — such as Pertamina Group subsidiaries such as PGN, Krakatau Steel, and Pupuk Indonesia Group subsidiaries Petrokimia, and Pusri— have played an important role in building the nation’s logistics infrastructure, the minister noted.

As they have the facilities in place to manage sourcing of materials as well as distribution, the country’s SOEs should focus on assisting pandemic handling, Thohir said.

He said he is optimistic that quick action from SOEs would help speed up the response to meet the needs of COVID-19 patients on site.

Apart from ensuring the distribution of medicines and at affordable prices, SOEs are also ensuring oxygen tube supplies for several hospitals, he added.

Pertamina Group and PGN have utilized their infrastructure to distribute oxygen tubes to health facilities, he informed. Pupuk Indonesia Group has sent a total of 96.73 tons of oxygen to hospitals in Jakarta, Central Java, and Yogyakarta, he added.

In addition, Krakatau Steel has a large oxygen allocation for steel production which will be diverted to secure oxygen supplies for hospitals, Thohir said. (INE)


Source: Antara News

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