ASTRA AGRO SHELVES PLAN TO BUILD FOUR PALM OIL FACTORIES. PT Astra Agro Lestari Tbk has decided to postpone plan to build four of five new palm oil processing plants originally set for construction this year. Each of the factory is to cost Rp120 billion. The company was forced to shelf the plan on liquidity problem. In addition, the company will need fund to to expand its oil palm plantations. The company plans to grow oil palm seedlings over 55,000 hectares of land this year. Currently the company already has 20 palm oil processing plants with a total processing capacity of 940 tons of oil palm fresh fruit bunches per hour. The company also produces rubber, palm kernel, palm kernel oil (PKO), and palm kernel extract (PKE). Meanwhile, the company annouend its sales shot up 64.4% to Rp7.28 trillion (US$7.2 billion) in the first 11 months of 2008 from the same period in the previous year. The company sold 879,750 tons of CPO in the January-November period last year or an increase of 26.5% year-on-year.
TRUBA SEEKING LOANS TO BUILD POWER PLANT IN KUALA TANJUNG. PT Truba Alam Manunggal Engineering said it is seeking a loan of US$189 million to finance its power generating project in North Sumatra. Truba Alam is studying loan offers from local and foreign banks to finance the construction of a 270-megawatt coal fired power plant in Kuala Tanjung, corporate secretary Gamala V. Katopo said. Amid the troubles disrupting the financial market financing with bank loans is more beneficial, Gamala said. The loan is needed outside funds from other investors taking part in the project, which is 70% controlled by Truba. The company hopes to secure loans soon that construction could start in 2009; Katoppo said Truba Alam has built three coal fired power plants including 25-MW PLTU Banka, 65-MW PLTU Pontianak, and 60-MW PLTU CP Bahari Lampung.
MEDCO SECURES US$480 MILLION IN NEW CREDIT. PT Medco Energi Internasional Tbk has secured credits valued at US$70 million - US$80 million from BCA to finance development of the Singa gas field of Lematang PSC, in South Sumatra. Earlier Medco was seeking US$1.36 billion in external fund needed to finance six projects valued at US$1.7 billion in the next five years. The new loan from BCA is to be used to finance the Lematang project which is valued at US$100 million. The company will put up the balance. President of Medco Darmoyo Doyoatmojo said the company will build six of seven projects with the completion of a bio ethanol project in Lampung financed with equity fund. The six projects are first, the Singa gas field of Lematang PSC, second, Block A gas field in Aceh to be completed in 2011, third, enhanced oil recovery (EOR) in the Rimau Block; fourth, Area 47 in Libya in cooperation with Verenex Energy Inc, fifth , Senoro gas field in Central Sulawesi to be financed by Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and commercial banks, and the sixth Sarulla geothermal power plant in North Sumatra to be built in cooperation with Kyushu Electric Power Co. Inc, Itochu Corporation and Ormat International Ltd.
INDOSAT DELAYS SELLING TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS. PT Indosat Tbk has decided to postpone sales of telecommunications towers until later in 2009 as prospective buyers are facing liquidity problem. Currently Indosat has around 12,500 units of base transceiver station (BTS) of which 2,500 units were built only in the first nine months of 2008. The country's second largest telecommunications company planned to build 3,000 more units of BTS in 2008 and it was optimistic it could build 500 units in the last quarter of that year. PT Excelcomindo Pratama Tbk. also was forced to delay sales of BTS. The country's third largest operator of cellular phones delayed sales of 7,000 units of BTS valued at Rp7 trillion - Rp9 trillion until 2009. Earlier Indosat president Johnny Swandi Sjam lauded the program suggested by the government to jointly use BTS to reduce cost and for efficiency.
MERGER PLAN FOR UOB BUANA AND UOB INDONESIA. United Overseas Bank Ltd Singapore, which owns controlling shares in PT Bank UOB Buana Tbk and PT Bank UOB Indonesia, plans merger for the two Indonesian-based banks before the end of 2010 as required by Bank Indonesia's regulation, which does not allow an investors to have controlling stake in two or more banks. Managing Director of UOB Buana Francis Hsu said the process of merger of the two banks will start by seeking to acquire the entire shares held by the public or minority shareholders. Hsu said he was confident merger would be the best choice to strengthen UOB banking foothold in the country. With the merger, UOB Buana will have stronger business in credit card sales in line with the core business of the parent company in Singapore. .By September 2008, UOB Buana had assets valued at Rp19.47 trillion and UOB Indonesia Rp10.06 trillion. UOB took control of Bank Buana after acquiring 99% stake from PT Sari Dasa Karsa.
EXXON MOBIL RESUMES GAS SUPPLY TO PIM FERTILIZER PLANT. ExxonMobil has started supplying gas from its Arun gas field to state-owned fertilizer producer PT Pupuk Iskandar Muda in North Aceh. Supply began IN MID January, 2009 with around 55 million cubic feet per day, chief of the Upstream Oil and Gas Regulatory Body (BP Migas) R. Priyono said. ExxonMobil earlier cut and stopped gas supply to PIM as its gas production was just enough to meet its contract for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in that area. The daily supply could be increased to 120 million cubic feet after the completion of gas pipe leading to the fertilizer plant, another BP Migas official said. Earlier PIM had to rely on gas supply from Bontang in East Kalimantan in order to keep operation. Aceh Asean Fertilzier, a fertilizer factory established by Asean founding members, has collapses after ExxonMobil stopped gas supply a few years ago.
KRAKATAU ILTHABI TO BUILD PIG IRON FACTORY. PT Krakatau Ilthabi Adhijaya will build a pig iron plant in Cilegon, Banten with an annual production capacity of 300,000 tons. PT Krakatau Ilthabi Adhijaya is a joint venture between PT Mitra Investasi Artaperdana and Krakatau Steel Pension Fund (DPKS). Business Expansion Director of DPKS Alugro Mulyowahyudi said the factory to be built with an investment of Rp780 billion, will use the Oxycup technology of Germany with its zero waste concept. The pig iron plant will produce top gas that could be used to fuel a 30-MW power plant to supply power for the factory and other local industries. The power plant will not be connected with the PLN's networks. Mitra Investasi Director Miranti Serad said the factory will contirbute to the process of industrialization in the country.
PELINDO II SETS ASIDE RP300 BILLION FOR MUARA SABAK PROJECT. State-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II) has set aside Rp300 billion in fund for the construction of an international standard seaport in Muara Sabak, Tanjungjati Timur, Jambi. The fund is all in equity, Pelindo II President Abdullah Saefuddin said. Abdullah said construction of the port is expected to start this year and it is to be completed in 2010. The port, occupying 200 hectare area, will replace the old one in that area. . The new port will be able to handle loading and unloading of 5 million tons of general cargoes and 50,000 TEUs of containers per day. Pelindo II will provide Rp50 billion to build a 150 x 30 meter quay and warehouse facilities and infrastructure. In addition, Pelindo II will dredge the sea to a depth of 9 meters to be able to accommodate a 15,000 DWT ship. The Muara Sabak port is designed to serve as international standard port facilitating exports and imports.
INDOFOOD COMPLETES ACQUISITION AND SETTLES DEBT OF ACS. PT Indofood Sukses Makmur Tbk through subsidiary PT Indofood Agri Resources Ltd has completed the Rp59.1 billion transaction including acquisition and debt repayment of PT Abadi Cemerlang Sejahtera (ACS). Executive director of Indofood Agri Resources Moleonoto Tjang said PT Salim Ivomas Pratama, a subsidiary of Indofood Agri, has signed the acquisition of the entire shares of ACS in three companies PT Cakra Alam Makmur, PT Hijaupertiwi Indah Plantation and PT Cangkul Bumisubur and its subsidiary PT Pelangi Intipertiwi at a total price of Rp11.7 billion. Salim Ivomas also took over an Rp47.4 billion debts of ACS to PT Cakra Alam Makmur, PT Hijaupertiwi Indah Plantation, and PT Cangkul Bumisubur. Indofood has secured a loan pledge from a number of banks to cover 60% of the cost of wholly acquiring Drayton Pte Ltd valued at US$350 million.