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Fire rips through Indonesian refinery

A massive fire ripped through one of Indonesia’s largest oil refineries today. An explosion at a tank at Pertamina’s Balongan refinery quickly engulfed much of the facility. 21 people are confirmed as injured and one person suffered a heart attack and died after the explosion.

The refinery is about 200 km east of the capital Jakarta.

Pertamina’s president director Nicke Widyawati said she hoped to get the 125,000 barrels a day refinery working again by the end of the week.

The fire was concentrated in the refinery’s storage tanks and there had been no impact on the processing plant, Widyawati said.

The refinery is expected to receive about 600,000 barrels of Rabi crude from Gabon onboard tanker Aristodimos on April 10, shipping data on Refinitiv Eikon shows.

In late February Pertamina started upgrade work at Balongan to increase capacity as well as increasing different crude distillations it can handle.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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