Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The government is planning to allow other countries bury their carbon in Indonesia through a process popularly known as carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The CCS is a way of reducing emissions by capturing carbon from industrial processes. The process then involves injecting the carbon dioxide deep underground, preventing it from entering the atmosphere.
Indonesia claimed that it could store 400 gigatons of carbon in its depleted reservoirs and saline aquifers. This large storage capacity makes Indonesia a highly potential "burial site" for the region's carbons.
Indonesia already has a legal framework on CCS in place. The framework, however, takes the form of a ministerial regulation and only encompasses carbon dioxide injection from upstream oil and gas operations. A new presidential regulation is underway, and the document will expand the CCS scope to other industries. This presidential regulation will also pave the way for other countries to store their carbon in Indonesia, according to the Energy Ministry.
"We are currently drafting a presidential regulation on CCS for activities outside the upstream oil and gas sector.... The regulation will hopefully make Indonesia a regional CCS hub," Tutuka Ariadji, a senior government official at the Energy Ministry, said at a CCS forum in Jakarta on Monday.
Tutuka told reporters later that day that despite potentially opening up to foreign carbon storage, Indonesia would put domestic needs first.
"This new presidential regulation is in the works.... It will allow imports of carbon from other countries. But we will prioritize storing our own carbon first. Although we do have a large storage capacity," Tutuka said.
The government has set a goal to have this presidential regulation ready by later this year. Indonesia today has 15 CCS/CCUS projects underway across its archipelago. Unlike the CCS, the CCUS –short for carbon capture, utilization, and storage– involves reusing the captured carbon in industrial processes.
Many of the said 15 projects are in the preparatory and study stages. Most will come on stream by 2030. These projects also have the potential to inject around 25 million and 68 million tons of carbon underground in 2030-2035.