Public Lecture by the Minister Rizal Ramli: Masela Block Development Plan

Ambon, 28 May 2016. Quoting an analogy from a philosophy of Maluku People: “Cut in nail felt in flesh”, the Coordinator Minister for Maritime and Resources, Dr. Rizal Ramli commented a similar philosophy, “Tip of nail wounded, flesh hurt”. “If brothers and sisters in Maluku are hurt, felt bitterness and disappointment, I felt them too, if Maluku People are happy and satisfied then I felt them too”, this are the comments of the Minister Rizal Ramli in the introduction of the public lecture presented at Universitas Pattimura (UNPATTI) Ambon. The comments received an enthusiastic applause from the audiences.

Minister and Rector

Photo: Exchanging souvernirs between Minister Rizal Ramli and Prof. Saptenno

The public lecture regarding Masela Block was attended by approximately 1500 attendants from various elements of the community which comprises of professors, civitas academica of UNPATTI, students from public and private universities in Maluku, top-level government officers, education and environment observers, distinguished guest, cultural leaders, and high school students. The audiences were enthusiastically attended and followed the event.

The event was initiated by several speeches which presented by the Director of Archipelago Solidarity Foundation, Mrs. Angelina Pattiasina, the Rector of UNPATTI Prof. M. J. Saptenno and the vice governor of Maluku Province Hon. Mr. Zeth Sahuburua, SH., MH, who also officially opened the event through clubbing a traditional Maluku drum (tifa).

The theme of the public lecture is “New Paradigm of Natural Resources Utilization of Masela Abadi Gas Field for the Territorial and National Industry Development”.

In accordance with the statement of the President of Republic of Indonesia in Pontianak on 23 March 2016 that the development plan of the Masela Block Abadi Gas Field will be carried out using the onshore development scheme, the decision would bring an extraordinary economical impact towards the people in Maluku.

“This is not only about moving the refinery of LNG (Liquid Natural Gas) from the sea to an island but it is about the development of a new paradigm for the Masela Block plan. It is about natural resources utilization as an economic prime mover and a territorial development factor and not about using the natural resource only as a state revenue source.

Furthermore, the Minister added, “ therefore, the construction and development of the Masela Block must be carried out in a comprehensive and integrated manners with a careful planning. The construction and development of offshore petro-chemical industries would bring high value-added benefits which would also trigger the development local industries in Maluku and its surroundings”.

It was explained that through the development of an onshore refinery complex then the opportunity to gain revenues from natural gas, liquid natural gas and petro-chemical industry of Masela Block would be approximately at U$ 9 billion per year with the assumption of U$ 60 per barrel of crude oil current price. This is equal to Rp. 177 trillion. This estimated value was possible because the development of petro-chemical industries based on the natural gas resource, which would produce several products such as paints, glues, polymers, plastics, PVC pipes, formica, fiberglass and other hundreds of derived products which may be produced.

There are so many products that may be produced through natural gas utilizations, however quoting a saying “It doesn’t matter how many resources you have, if you don’t know how to use them, they will never be enough” then the Minister warned that we should be able to utilize these available resources in an appropriate manner. The Minister added that the philosophy of Maluku People “cracking a bar of sagoo to be two bars (for sharing)” then he urges Maluku People to wisely manage and utilize the natural resources hence the resources could be used to bring prosperity for the community.

minister and guests photoPhoto: distinguished guests and the minister Rizal Ramli

In the question and answer session of the public lecture which was moderated by Prof. J. W. Mosse, the Minister answered questions from the audiences which represent the curiosity of Maluku People regarding the offshore development plan of the Masela Block. At the end of the event, picture taking of distinguished guests and the presentation of souvenirs exchange between the Minister and rector of UNPATTI were carried out.