Fire at the Pertamina Cilacap Refinery Tank, Intentional or Not?

Yogyakarta – (15/11). Fires and puffs of smoke were seen on Sunday (14/11) from the burning tank 36 T 102 at the Pertamina International RU IV Refinery Cilacap, Central Java. It is suspected that 31,000 kiloliters of Pertalite were burned due to natural factors, strucked by lightning, or by strong winds.
Seven fires have been recorded since 1995 at the Cilacap refinery and the majority of them are caused by natural factors. Fahmy Radhi, an Energy Observer from Gadjah Mada University said that the alleged cause of the fire incident due to lightning was completely unreasonable. “I suspect there is some kind of intentional element in the fire incidents that have occurred in a row. If my suspicions are correct, what is the purpose? We know that the capacity of the Cilacap refinery is the largest,  the oil fuel there are processed in large quantities,” he said.
“Fire incidents will reduce the supply of fuel so that to cover the shortage, more imports are needed,” he continued.
Member of Commission VII DPR, Adian Yunus Yusak Napitupulu, agrees with Fahmy. He said a series of fire incidents at the Cilacap refinery could not be seen as an ordinary event. “This incident must be the last event. It must be examined why nature always becomes the scapegoat. Lightning has been around for a long time. Why has there been no evaluation about that problem until now,” he said.
Pertamina’s President Director, Nicke Widyawati, said that she would evaluate and investigate the fire incident at the Cilacap refinery while ensuring that the fuel stock for Central Java and West Java was safe so there would not be any panic buying phenomenon by the public.
This also received a response from the Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR), Puan Maharani, who asked Pertamina to immediately audit the security system at the oil refinery. “The frequent fires at Pertamina’s oil refineries require in-depth evaluation. There must be an audit of the security system at Pertamina’s oil refineries to find the problem and immediately resolve it,” she said.
In addition, Puan also the commitment from Pertamina to improve the security system of their oil refineries. “Pertamina must be able to explain to the public why fires often occur at their oil refinery. This phenomenon has caused public anxiety and various speculations,” she continued. (DA)


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