31 March 2015
The Jakarta Post
The Central Sulawesi regional government aims to realize direct investments totaling Rp 20 trillion (US$1.53 billion) this year, driven by a number of projects ranging from infrastructure to smelters.
The anticipated value is twice the amount of Rp 10 trillion expected by the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) for 2015.
A number of projects are expected to either break ground or advance to the next phase of development in several sectors, such as power generation, chemical production and nickel refining, according to Central Sulawesi Governor Longki Djanggola.
Among the new projects are an ammonia plant to be set up in July by PT Panca Amara Utama, a subsidiary of gas refinery operator PT Surya Esa Perkasa, totaling Rp 5 trillion, as well as a 400 megawatt hydroelectric power plant (PLTA) worth Rp 7.2 trillion by PT Poso Energy, a subsidiary of Kalla Group.
Another project, a $1.04 billion ferronickel smelter by Sulawesi Mining Investment, a joint venture between local firm Bintangdelapan Group and China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, will enter a more advanced level of construction after development began early last year.
“We are optimistic that the strong trend seen in the past year will continue this year, helping us to reach the sizeable investment,” Longki told The Jakarta Post during a Central Sulawesi investment forum hosted by the BKPM.
The province saw strong investment inflows last year as both foreign and local investors spent Rp 16.2 trillion, up by nearly double from Rp 8.73 trillion in 2013. The figure was over three times the Rp 5 trillion set by the BKPM.
Such a high amount of capital poured into the resource-rich province also allowed it to rank as the sixth-biggest direct investment recipient nationwide and the second largest in the eastern part of the sprawling archipelago in the previous year.
Regional Investment Coordinating Board (BKPMD) head Christina Sandra said that an administrator and management body to arrange the Palu special economic zone (KEK) in the province were being established to facilitate investors.
“When the administrator and management body have been established, many investors can be served and that will also attract more investment,” she said.
According to the government’s plan, the special economic zone will cover an area of 1,500 hectares, requiring Rp 1.7 trillion for development. The zone has the potential to generate Rp 13 trillion in investment, absorb 560,000 workers and draw investors in various manufacturing industries, such as cocoa, rattan and mineral processing.
Governor Longki said that one of the major obstacles to address would be to provide skilled labor to support investment in the province, an issue the government would try to address by founding vocational schools and polytechnics.
At present, some investors have already engaged in supporting human resources development. Miner PT Bintang Delapan Mineral, a subsidiary of Bintangdelapan Group, for instance, has initiated a polytechnic in Morowali regency to equip workers with skills tailored to meet its demand.
The government aims to attract Rp 519.5 trillion in overall direct investment nationwide this year, up 14 percent from last year, of which Rp 343.5 trillion is expected from foreign investors.
Courtesy of The Jakarta Post
31 March 2015