TACKLING JAKARTA’S POLLUTION PROBLEM: Stop Environment Polluting

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Satya Hangga Yudha Widya Putra, B.A. (Hons), MSc
Satya Hangga Yudha Widya Putra, B.A. (Hons), MSc, is the Co-Founder of the Indonesian Energy and Environmental Institute (IE2I) and Secretary-General of the Organization of LPDP Scholarship Recipients (Mata Garuda)

Indonesia is facing a double challenge: to build a domestic gas market as quickly as possible and at the same time anticipate a decline in gas production in the next few decades. Various other policies have been formulated to increase domestic gas consumption. Still, it is essential to ensure the economic viability of the plan because sudden government policy maneuvers can easily distort the investment feasibility of the project. The gas sub-holding PT Pertamina (Persero), namely, PT PGN Tbk (PGAS), noted that the realization of the gas network (jargas) in DKI Jakarta Province only reaches 70%. To continue increasing the number of jargas, PGN has prepared a strategy to distribute jargas. Among them is collaborating with PT KAI (Persero) to distribute the gas. In collaboration with KAI, Pertamina will support LNG in the household gas network and cooperate with KAI to carry LNG cargoes via rail. PGN views that by collaborating with KAI, the distribution of LNG jargas will be easier because the train stations in Jakarta are in the middle of the city. Previously, in the cooperation of both parties, PGN and KAI carried out a dynamic test of LNG technology as fuel on a train that will be used to serve passengers on the Jakarta – Surabaya route. The Dynamic Test is a series of pilot projects to reduce the amount of subsidized diesel. 

The conversion of fuel oil to LNG uses a Diesel Dual Fuel (DDF) system so that the trains that were initially powered by diesel will operate with a mixture of two fuels (gas and diesel). Gas is the primary fuel, while diesel is used as a lighter and helps lubricate and cool the combustion chamber. Before the Dynamic Test, a Static Test was carried out on the generator train when the engine was idle. The results of the Static Test indicate that the efficiency of the engine performance is better when compared to the use of diesel fuel. The benefits of LNG fuel on trains include fuel cost efficiency, lower gas engine maintenance costs, BUMN synergy, utilization of freight transport, and the potential use of PT KAI’s station land for the benefit of environmentally friendly energy (green energy). 

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LNG should continue to be used for retail to replace Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), a form of energy in Indonesia that is currently in shortage and is imported. Indonesia only produces 33% of its LPG and imports 67%. These initiatives in the LNG business are crucial for LNG opportunities in the future, where LNG plays a vital role in the transition to net zero-emission in 2060. 

Jakarta’s worst air quality in the world is contributed mainly by private cars and motorbikes. What is needed now is to limit private vehicles and improve public transportation so that people want to use it, mainly through sustainable mobility policies, namely through massive development for pedestrian development, bicycle lanes, integration of multimodal public transportation, and the electrification target of 50% of the TransJakarta fleet by 2025. 

Furthermore, coal-fired power plants and industries, mainly outside the Jakarta area, directly affect Jakarta. Motorized vehicles with license plate numbers outside Jakarta, such as Tangerang and Bekasi, also contribute to rising emissions in Jakarta. The burning of waste is also a problem of pollution. In 2020, Indonesia was ranked 3rd as the largest plastic waste producer in the world. Hence, waste needs to be processed and turned into a valuable source of electricity through a waste-to-energy (WtE) power plant (PLTSa). Waste processing into electrical energy is essential and can be followed by other regions. 

All parties must have a deep concern for waste management by changing attitudes starting from each individual. It must be instilled in every individual, meaning that ownership of the waste problem belongs to all parties, and all parties are called to be involved and active in solving problems. Changing people’s daily behavior is highly important, which can be realized by sorting waste from the residence. 

Nevertheless, many people have started to travel outside their homes using motorized vehicles after the COVID-19 pandemic has lifted. People who live in DKI Jakarta can protect themselves from air pollution by avoiding outdoor activities, wearing a mask when doing outdoor activities, closing the windows to prevent dirty air from entering the house, and turning on the air purifier to keep the indoor air clean. (Satya Hangga Yudha Widya Putra, B.A. (Hons), MSc)