Luhut Wants Bali LNG Depot Built Offshore

Recent press reports place Bali Governor Wayan Koster and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan at loggerheads on establishing a large LNG Port Terminal at Sidakarya, South Denpasar. Governor Koster is actively lobbying for the construction of the LNG terminal to proceed as planned. At the same time, the powerful Cabinet Minister views the Sanur-South Bali location as inappropriate on several levels.

 Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan

In the final days of April 2023, small public demonstrations and banners appeared in the Sanur area of Bali, ostensibly in support of Governor Koster’s desire to urgently develop the LNG Terminal. Some banners displayed along the roads in Sanur are divisive, accusing anyone opposing the LNG Terminal’s construction in Sidarkarya as “anti-development.”

In response, Minister Panjaitan urges that the LNG Terminal in Bali be placed in a mid-ocean locale to prevent disturbing the Island’s tourism sector. Quoted by, Luhut Panjaitan said, while visiting North Balion Friday, 28 April 2023, that he inspected the proposed site and has agreed that the best solution would be placing the LNG depot offshore at sea.

Luhut added that the LNG Terminal should not interfere with Bali’s tourism. “We will move (the current location) to a place some 4 kilometers from the shoreline,” said Luhut.

The Coordinating Minister defends the move as necessary to avoid disturbing the tourism sector and damaging the mangrove forest. He said the LNG Depot project is targeted for completion in 1.5 years. “We envision that (the project) will not disrupt (tourism) but will be a clean development that will not damage the mangrove forest,” said Luhut.

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