,Indonesia

Fossil fuel subsidies need to be phased out and rationalized, says YCP Solidiance exec

Incentivising electric vehicles usage will promote net-zero emissions.

Gervasius Samosir is a Partner at YCP Solidiance, based in Jakarta, Indonesia, who brings more than 10 years of experience in diverse industries such as Digital; Power & Energy; Telecommunication, Media & Technology; and Banking.

Gervasius is the author of some YCP Solidiance publications including “Electric Vehicles in Indonesia: The Road Towards Sustainable Transportation” and “Top E-commerce Cities in Asia”.

Before this, Samosir worked at strategy consulting and market research firms. In this role, he supported leading companies and large multinational organizations in ASEAN, on projects that involved market entry, growth strategies, and business transformation and implementation.

Samosir has participated in regional events including Asian Power Awards 2020, Digital Summit SEA 2021, and Tech in Asia 2018. 

He holds an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines, and a B.Sc from President University, Indonesia.

As one of the judges for the Asian Power Oil & Gas Awards, Samosir sat with us for an interview, where he shared his thoughts on what it takes to professionally thrive in the industry as well as the five strategies that the oil and gas companies must take to stay relevant in a future of renewable energy.

Can you explain your role as a Partner at YCP Solidiance? What experiences strongly impacted your career journey?

YCP Solidiance is a management consulting and principal investment firm. We are present in 17 offices with a focus on Asia. I am currently responsible for managing the business operation of YCP Solidiance in Indonesia and at the same time responsible for growing our business portfolio in the Energy sectors across the Asian market. We do serve multiple magnitude clients from Fortune 1000 to SMEs. We are working together with our clients to drive their business growth in Asia. 

It has been a great pleasure for me especially when we are seeing our clients progressing their business and providing a greater impact on society. 

How did your decade of experience in various industries, from digital to TMT, impact your career? What other skills or knowledge did you acquire to specialize in the oil and gas industry?

Throughout my career growth at YCP Solidiance, for over the span of 8 years, we have been working with various industry verticals from digital, TMT to energy and oil & gas. Specifically, on the O&G, we have been exposed to different sets of works from upstream, midstream, downstream, from petrochemicals to its derivatives products like lubricants and plastics. We have spoken with more than thousands of oil & gas stakeholders and experts across the region. It enables us as a company, and me as part of the consulting team to have a learning curve to be able to understand what matters most for our clients to grow and outperform their competition.  

What are the challenges that Indonesian oil and gas firms experienced during the pandemic? How were these addressed?

Indonesia has started to initiate a transformative pathway for the energy sector. There are at least 5 key directions that needed to be taken into a post-pandemic era:

Indonesia needs to focus on phasing out and rationalizing its fossil fuel subsidies. The fossil fuel subsidy may overlook the unprecedented opportunity to align economic recovery post-pandemic with climate targets. 

Increase support and investment in renewable energy through proper policy governance and incentives. Indonesia has only tapped into about 2 per cent of the combined potential of geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, and biomass energy sources and it represents only 12% of the total energy mix. 

Strengthen vertically integrated energy value streams by increasing upstream production for oil & natural gas and investing in petrochemical refineries and infrastructure. While optimizing the upstream production of oil & natural gases, it is important as well to map out the domestic demand of petrochemical products and proper long-term investment in petrochemical refineries. 

Focus on delivering fully integrated infrastructure to support equal distribution and logistics throughout Indonesia from the western part to the eastern part of Indonesia. Integrating better logistics and supply chain will enable the reduction of cost at the same time could replace any costly diesel-based power plants in the eastern part of Indonesia to use more cost-competitive and cleaner energy from natural gases.

Set a carbon pricing policy to spur carbon trading and open broader opportunities for any development in carbon-neutral initiatives like carbon capture, usage, and storage. In addition to that, incentivising the use of electric vehicles to promote net-zero emission will propel the direction to climate targets.  

With the industry pushing the transition to renewables, where should companies, especially in the oil and gas sector, focus on to maintain relevance?

In the short to medium term, the oil and gas sector needs to strive on delivering better value through digitalization. Maximising the production value on vertically integrated products and services while delivering more efficient and lower costs to produce. Investing in higher complexity petrochemical refineries to deliver value to customers. It is also inevitable to invest and build sustainable decarbonise investment initiatives like carbon capture and storage which are suitable for upstream oil & gas.  

In the long term, focus on investing in renewables and sources of new energy like hydrogen fuel cells. 

As an industry leader, what can you advise the future leaders who want to pursue a career path similar to yours?

As far as we understand we are living in the new normal world of VUCA worlds. We need to be more adaptable to the volatility of the business. Open to any ideas and being critical and agile at the same time in developing business strategies. Focus on key objectives while maximizing the value of collaboration to achieve the overall goals.  

As a management consultants, we tend to be able to boost our creativity through diverse key learnings that we nurture in different sets of industry verticals. Our adaptability has been challenged through numerous interactions and learnings from different key stakeholders in the marketplace. One of us needs to be open-minded and open to any feedback and suggestion for our personal growth.   

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