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POSCO AND KS AGREE TO BUILD A STEEL PLANT.  State-owned steel maker PT Krakatau Steel (PT KS) and South Korean steel giant Pohang Iron & Steel Corp. (Posco) will finalize US$6 billion joint investment plan in April, an official said.     The two companies will sign a joint venture agreement to start construction of a new steel factory in Cilegon, Banten in July, Industry Minister M.S. Hidayat said.   The new factory, to be built in two phases, will have an annual production capacity of 6 million tons, Hidayat said.  The first phase is for a factory with an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons a year. PT KS President Fazwar Bujang said after the signing of the JVA, the two companies will name the contractor to build the factory, which will produce steel plates and hot rolled coil (HRC). The investment will be for the construction of a blast furnace to produce HRC from slabs.  The groundbreaking ceremony is expected in July 2011 and the first phase construction is to be completed in 2013, Fazwar said.   Earlier he said PT KS will have a 30% share in the joint venture with the Korean state company to have the majority 70% stake.

TWO FOREIGN COMPANIES TO BUILD PHOTOGRAPHIC COPY MACHINE FACTORIES. Two foreign companies will carry out plans to build a photograph copy machine factory with a total investment of US$ 45 million this year. Demands for photograph copy machines have increased both on the domestic and international markets. The two companies DP Dataproducts from Malaysia and Teco Group from Taiwan want to make Indonesia their production base for domestic supply and exports. Ramon Bangun, a senior official of the transport and telecommunication and informatics directorate general said Dataproducts plans to build a factory in Indonesia with an investment of US$ 20 million and Teco Group is to invest US$ 25 million in its project. PT DP Dataproducts Indonesia director Agus Purwandi said his company plans to invest US$20 million over a three year period. Dataproduct is eyeing a 10% share of the domestic market of photographic machines and printers to compete against Canon and Xerox, which have gained popularity in the country each with a market share of 30%.

SEMEN GRESIK TO BUILD CEMENT FACTORY AND BAGGING PLANT IN PAPUA. Publicly listed cement maker PT Semen Gresik  wants to build  a cement bagging plant in Papua with an investment of up to Rp 150 billion (US$ 16 million). The bagging plant will support the plan of PT Semen Gresik to build a cement factory with an investment of US$ 341 million in that region. The project is part of the program of the state company to expand distribution network to the eastern most region of the country, its President DWI Sutjipto said.  The country's largest cement maker also studies plan to build special port in Papua to cost up to Rp 30 billion. The cement bagging project is expected to be implemented in 2010, Sutjipto said, adding construction will take 1.5 years. He said the company also plans to build a new cement factory to cost US$ 350 million in West Sumatra, in which it has a large subsidiary PT Semen Padang. Meanwhile, Upstream chemical industry director at the industry ministry Toni Tanduk the bagging plant will be built by Semen Gresik's subsidiary PT Semen Tonasa and the new cement factory will have an annual capacity of 600,000 tons that could be optimized to 1.5 million tons a year. US copper and gold mining company PT reeport Indonesia also plans to build a cement factory in Papua with a capacity of 600,000 - 1 million tons a year.

SASOL DISCUSSES PLAN TO BUILD US$ 10 BILLION COAL LIQUWFACTION PROJECT. South Africa's Sasol Limited, the world's largest producer of synthetic fuel, has begun talks on developing a US$10 billion coal-liquefaction plant with two Indonesia state companies. Negotiations were in progress with oil and gas company PT Pertamina and coal miner PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam, Gita Wirjawan, the chairman of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) said. State fertilizer companies like PT Pupuk Sriwijaya might also be involved in the project, Gita said. Last month, Sasol and the Indonesian government signed an initial agreement to study the feasibility of the project, the newspaper Jakarta Global reported.   Sasol said it could produce 80,000 barrels a day of high quality ultra-clean transportation fuel from the plant to be built either in South Sumatra, East Kalimantan or West Kalimantan. If all goes as planned construction of the project could be completed by the end of 2014 and the facility would come on stream by 2015, the energy and mineral resources ministry said.

JAMSOSTEK EYEING STAKES IN SHARIA AND AGRO BANKS AND PROPERTY COMPANY. The state owned workers' insurance company (Jamsostek) said it is set to become the majority shareholder of PT Bank Syariah Bukopin, the sharia subsidiary of Bank Bukopin. Currently Jamsostek already has 9% stake in Bank Syariah Bukopin, Jamsostek President Hotbonar Sinaga said.  Jamsostek will invest Rp 500 billion equivalents to more than 50% of the shares of the Islamic bank, Sinaga said. Jamsostek also is eyeing 20%-30% stake in BNI Syariah, the sharia unit of state lender Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and a 6.43% stake in state-owned construction company PT Pembangunan Perumahan. Sinaga said Jamsostek plans to buy shares or bonds issued by    state companies taking part in the workers' insurance program.  Meanwhile it was reported PT Jamsostek (Persero) is also interested in acquiring stakes in PT Bank Muamalat Indonesia Tbk, which is the country's first Islamic bank, and in PT Bank Agroniaga.  Jamsostek already has participation capital of less than 1% in Bank Mualamala and 3% in Bank Agro. The acquisition will be made through an investment joint venture Jamsostek Investment Company (JIC) to be established with Islamic Corporation for The Development of The Private Sector (ICD), a subsidiary of   the Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

EMAAR REPLACEMENT SOUGHT TO RESUME LOMBOK PROJECT. The Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) said it has decided to find a replacement for Emaar Properties after the Dubai-based company failed to implement its US$600 million tourist resort project in Bali's neighboring island of Lombok.  BKPM chief Gita Wirjawan said he made the decision after discussing that matter with the authorities in Lombok.  Emaar earlier asked for a deadline until Dec. 31, 2009 to make a final decision on the project.  Proposal has been received from prospective replacements, but opportunities are still open for other investors, Gita said giving no names. Emaar has said it could attract around 2 million tourists a year to Lombok if the project was implemented and completed. Earlier the government said it would proceed with the project in even without Emaar Properties.  There would be no extension of the agreement but Emaar   would be given the chance to sign a new deal, Mustafa said. The Lombok project envisioned a 1,200-hectare development that would transform the Kuta and Tanjung A'an beaches in Lombok.  Dubai's debt crisis may be one of the causes of the delay or cancellation of the mega project, reports said.

PERTAMINA NEEDS TO INVEST US$ 400 MILLION IN GAS STATIONS.  State oil and gas company Pertamina has sets aside US$ 400 million for investment in its fuel filling stations (SPBU) in the next five years. Pertamina marketing director Ahmad Faisal Pertamina has 43 units of SPBU with daily sales of more than 50 kiloliters each. The business has good prospects, therefore, the company plans expansion, Faisal said. By December Pertamina had and operated 46 units of SPBUs after commissioning new units in Jakarta and Banten. The number is small compared to the total number of 4,509 units of the SPBU using the logo of Pertamina but not operated by the state company. The setting up of a unit of SPBU will cost around Rp 24 billion over a 4,000 square meters plot of land in Jakarta with a tank capacity of 215 kiloliters of oil fuels and 8 tons of liquid gas for vehicle (LGV).

MONTHLY REPORT
INDONESIAN COMMERCIAL NEWSLETTER (ICN)
 
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December 2009
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