Rising Water Demand Due to Masela Block Gas Project
President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) called on the Public Works and Public Housing (PUPR) Ministry to anticipate a surge in water demand due to development of Masela Block's upstream oil and gas field.
Hence, the president urged the management of the Weymomolin Drinking Water Supply System (SPAM) in South Tanimbar Sub-district, Tanimbar Islands District, Maluku Province, which he directly reviewed on Friday, to prepare to anticipate the demand.
"We must anticipate development of the Masela Block, as it will have an impact on increasing the workforce and also the need for drinking water," Jokowi noted as quoted in a press statement here on Friday.
The president had previously pressed for starting the Abadi LNG project in Masela Block, Maluku, soon by roping in a new partner for Tokyo-based Inpex Corporation as the operator.
The project has been delayed since the withdrawal of the Dutch oil and gas company, Shell Upstream Overseas, in July 2020 despite the project being targeted to start production in 2027.
Expert Staff of PUPR Minister for Technology, Industry, and Environment Endra S. Atmawidjaja -- who accompanied the president during the review -- noted that currently, the operation of the Weymomolin SPAM still depends on two springs in Weymomolin and Bomaki to fulfill the needs for clean water for residents in Saumlaki Sub-district, Tanimbar Islands District.
He stated that the water intake systems from the two springs and pipeline networks of the SPAM are used to serve a total of five thousand houses, or approximately 80 percent of Saumlaki Sub-district's residents.
However, only utilizing the springs will not suffice to anticipate the rising water demand due to development of the upstream oil and gas field, according to the expert staff.
Hence, his side had prepared a technical plan to build a dam in the district to meet the community needs.
In addition to Atmawidjaja, Jokowi was accompanied by Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Director of Drinking Water of Directorate General of Human Settlements at the PUPR Ministry Anang Muchlis, Governor of Maluku Murad Ismail, as well as Acting Head of Tanimbar Islands District Daniel Indey while reviewing the Weymomolin SPAM.