“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Australia pledges A$200 million to reforestation program

The Jakarta Post

CANBERRA, Australia (AP): Australia on Thursday pledged 200 million Australian dollars (US$161 million) to protect and replenish Asian forests - a move Prime Minister John Howard said would do more to combat climate change than the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.

The fund, which will be spent over the next five years, will aim to halve the rate of deforestation in southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, by planting new trees, fighting illegal logging, delivering education about forest management and supporting industries that provide an alternative to timber production.

Britain, Germany and the United States will also join the fund, which will be managed by the World Bank.

Howard said 20 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the destruction of forests, which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Deforestation ranks second behind electricity production as a key cause of the world's carbon dioxide levels, he said.

"What this initiative will do, in a shorter period of time, is make a greater contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions than, in fact the Kyoto Protocol," Howard told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

One of the world's largest per capita producers of greenhouse gas, Australia has refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for steep cuts in carbon dioxide emissions among industrialized nations.

Howard, siding with U.S. President George W. Bush, who has also refused to join the treaty, says the treaty would disadvantage Australia's coal-driven economy by placing caps on its emissions while allowing energy hungry developing countries like China and India to pollute freely.

But opinion polls show Australian voters are increasingly worried about global warming in the lead up to federal elections later this year.

A longtime skeptic on climate change, Howard has been softening his stance on the issue.

Last month, the prime minister said Australia should put a price on carbon emissions, saying market mechanisms would be integral to any long-term response to climate change. The announcement was a reversal of Howard's previous stance that any moves to cap or price carbon dioxide emissions would effectively be a "carbon tax" that would cripple Australia's coal industry and slow the economy.

Loan 1863-INO: Decentralized Basic Education Project (ADB)

Baseline and Impact Evaluation Studies

Invitation for Submission of Expressions of Interest (EOI)

Budget for Consulting Services(US$): 200,000

EOIs will be submitted by: 28 April 2007

Objectives and Scope:

The Decentralized Basic Education Project (DBEP), financed by the Government of Indonesia (GOI) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Loan No. 1863-INO, is designed to support the efforts of GOI to improve provision of basic education in public and madrassah schools in 20 districts in Bali, Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB), and Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) provinces.

In 2006, 6 additional districts in NTT began receiving support under grant funding from the Dutch Government.

ADB approved the loan on 29 November 2001, the Project became effective on 20 May 2002, and is scheduled for closing on 31 December 2008.

Read More ....

Japan funds infrastructure

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Japan, Indonesia's largest donor country, has agreed to provide Jakarta with US$847.2 million in soft loans to help finance nine infrastructure and social projects in the country.

The terms of the loans vary among the nine projects, with annual interest rates ranging from 0.4 to 1.5 percent and repayment periods of between 30 and 40 years, including a 10-year grace period.

Diplomatic notes on the agreement were signed Wednesday by the deputy chief of mission at the Japanese Embassy in Jakarta, Satoru Satoh, and M. Ibnu Said, a management expert at Indonesia's Foreign Ministry.

"We expect that Indonesia can improve social and economic conditions and the investment climate, as well as human resources, through these projects," Satoh said after the signing ceremony.

He said Japan has been the biggest bilateral contributor to Indonesia and would continue to help the country develop.

The nine projects covered by these new loans include the construction of North-West Sumatra inter-connector power transmission lines, double-track railroads in southern Java, the development of a national geo-spatial data infrastructure networking system in Sumatra and the construction of infrastructure in disadvantaged regions.

There is also a project to establish IT facilities at schools in Yogyakarta and build infrastructure in areas affected by the 2004 tsunami in Aceh.

The loans also will be used to fund improvements to the operational system at state power firm PLN, and to improve facilities at Hasanuddin University in South Sulawesi and provide fellowships and research scholarships for university lecturers.

Tumpal Hutagalung, deputy director for East Asia and the Pacific at the Foreign Ministry, said the projects would begin this year as soon as the loans were disbursed by the Japan Bank for International Cooperation.

Japan also has approved loans of $16 million for the construction of a mass rapid transit system in Jakarta and $200 million for infrastructure reform and policy development.

The exchange of notes on these two loans occurred in November 2006 and on March 23, 2007, respectively.

Germany and Indonesia join forces on SME empowerment

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The German and Indonesian chambers of commerce, Ekonid and Kadin, signed a deal Wednesday to jointly empower small and medium enterprises (SMEs) here.

"SMEs run the economy of a country, but they are not overheard," the German Embassy's deputy chief of mission, Wolfgang Piecha, said before the signing of the partnership agreement between Ekonid and Kadin.

With training and technical support provided by Ekonid for Kadin, this Rp 11.7 billion (US$1.27 million) project is an extension of a similar Rp 10.2 billion program that ran from 2003 to 2006. The current partnership is due to expire in 2009.

"We want to help SMEs become technology-based companies and to bring them to the European market," Piecha said.

Indonesian SMEs have an attractive range of products, including shoes, electronics, textiles, foods and vegetables, that have the potential to penetrate the global market, he said.

According to project manager Andreas Gosche, SMEs account for some 94 percent of job creation in Germany.

He expressed hope that the project would help Kadin empower SMEs in Indonesia.

"Big companies can empower themselves, but SMEs need assistance.

"We should help SMEs grow because they can respond fast to economic changes and create job opportunities, while big companies take time to recover after being hampered economically," he said.

Local SMEs weathered the 1997 economic crisis much better than larger businesses, and led the country's recovery efforts.

This new partnership between Ekonid and Kadin will cover the provinces of Aceh, Jakarta and West, Central and East Java, as well as the Indonesian Textile Association.

"Several chairmen of Kadin's provincial chapters, like in Bangka and Belitung, Papua and Riau, have come to us, asking for similar help, but we think we should concentrate on where we have started until we have significant results," said Gosche.

The chairman of Kadin's West Java chapter, Iwan Dermawan Hanafi, said the project was expected to account for 10 percent of all new job opportunities in the province over its lifetime, if it was implemented as planned.

Earlier this month, Manpower and Transmigration Minister Erman Suparno said he expected about one million more Indonesians to join the unemployment rolls this year. Last year, the official unemployment figure stood at about 10.8 million.

Shell Indonesia expands Jakarta retail locations

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The local arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc. opened a new gas station in Jakarta on Wednesday, which should further intensify the competition in the country's retail gasoline industry.

The new Shell Indonesia station, located on Jl. Yos Soedarso in North Jakarta, is its seventh outlet in the country. The previous six, all opened last year, are located in Lippo Karawaci, S. Parman and Kyai Tapa in West Jakarta, Letjen Suprapto in Central Jakarta and Mampang Prapatan and Gatot Subroto in South Jakarta.

Shell is planning to open another station in Senen, Central Jakarta.

The new gas station will sell high-octane premium gasoline under the trade names Shell Super and Shell Super Extra, and high-quality Shell Diesel at Rp 4,900 (49 U.S. cents), Rp 5,300, and Rp 5,100 a liter, respectively.

A number of foreign-owned companies have begun operating in Indonesia's downstream oil and gas sector since the sector was liberalized in 2005, ending the monopoly of state oil and gas firm Pertamina.

However, Pertamina still holds a monopoly on the sale of subsidized fuels.

Shell was the first foreign company to open gas stations here, in 2006, followed shortly by Malaysian state oil and gas firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd. (Petronas).

U.S-based energy company PT Chevron Pacific Indonesia (CPI) and France-based Total E&P have committed to open gas stations in Indonesia. Both are in the process of securing the necessary licenses from the government.

In response to this new competition, Pertamina, which also sells non-subsidized fuels, plans to open 1,000 new gas stations across the country, adding to its current network of 3,500 stations, according to Pertamina's vice president for fuel sales and distribution, Djaelani Sutomo.

"But due to bureaucratic problems, we can only process 750 licenses this year," Djaelani said Thursday.

He said Pertamina planned to boost high-octane gasoline sales, after promising sales of its high quality fuels Pertamax and Pertamax Plus over the past three months.

He said sales of Pertamax rose significantly by 200 percent over that period and Pertamax Plus by 50 percent.

Pertamax sells for Rp 4,900 a liter and Pertamax Plus is Rp 5,100 per liter.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Istithmar planning aggressive expansion into Asia with $1.75b


Shanghai (Reuters) : Dubai-based investment firm Istithmar, which has a real estate portfolio worth around $7 billion - mainly in the United States - is planning big investments in Asia where it has little exposure, an executive said.

"We would anticipate making very considerable investment into the Asia region, perhaps in the order of 20 or 25 per cent of the entire portfolio," said Richard Johnson, managing director of Istithmar's real estate arm.

This would translate into $1.4 billion-$1.75 billion investment in Asia, he said, adding, however, that it was unclear yet whether this would be incremental investment or from proceeds from asset divestment elsewhere.

Of the targeted Asia investment, China may account for 10-25 per cent, Johnson said in an interview on the sidelines of a real estate conference in Shanghai.

"It would really depend on how effectively we are able to deploy our fund, but I would not be surprised if it was more than 10 per cent. I would be surprised if it was more than 25 per cent," he said.

The planned Asia investment is aimed at diversifying the company's portfolios and tapping growth in the region, particularly China, he said.

Johnson said his company planned to open its first office in Asia by the end of June, probably in Singapore, and later would open an office in China, most likely in Shanghai.

"I would be disappointed if we have not made an investment in China in the next 12 months. And I would be hoping to have opened an office either by the end of this year or by the end of the first quarter of 2008," Johnson said.

The company has started hiring people for its future Asia operations.

ExxonMobil Signs a New Production Sharing Contract in Indonesia

Mandar Block Adds to Company's Acreage in Makassar Straits

IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Exxon Mobil Corporation subsidiary, ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Indonesia (Mandar) Limited, has signed a Production Sharing Contract (PSC) with the government of Indonesia for the Mandar block located in the Makassar Straits offshore West Sulawesi. This contract will enable exploration activities on the block to begin. ExxonMobil was announced the successful bidder for the Mandar block in the 2006 Indonesian Exploration Tender Round by the government of Indonesia with a 100 percent participating interest.

The Mandar block, which comprises 1 million acres (4,200 square kilometers), is located in the Southern Makassar Basin in water depths ranging from the coastline to more than 6,000 feet (2,000 meters).

"The Mandar block augments ExxonMobil’s acreage position in the Makassar Straits where we have a PSC in place for the Surumana block from the previous tender round," said Steve Greenlee, vice president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

Subsidiaries and predecessors of Exxon Mobil Corporation have been operating in Indonesia for more than 100 years. Since 1968, ExxonMobil companies have invested more than $17 billion in the country.

OAO Russian Aluminium to build US$2.9 bln plant in Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - OAO Russian Aluminium (Rusal), the world's third largest aluminum smelter, has announced a plan to invest Rp26 trillion (US$2.89 billion) in the construction of an aluminum factory and coal fired power plants in West Java.

West Java governor Danny Setiawan explained that the Russian company is likely to go ahead with the project immediately, and said he expects the aluminum plant to not only reduce unemployment, but to cut the country's dependence on imports for aluminum products.

Rusal and the West Java administration are scheduled to carry out a feasibility study for the plant in the next six months.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Bukit Asam to Exploit New Mine

Tuesday, 27 March, 2007 | 15:04 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam will open a new coal mine to supply Bangko Tengah Steam-Based Electric Generating Plant (PLTU) at Muara Enim, South Sumatera.

Operational Director of Bukit Asam Milawarna said that the realization of the new mine opening will still have to wait for the power purchasing agreement with PT PLN.

“The reason is that the development of PLTU and the mine will be carried out together,” he told Tempo last week.

He stated that the funds for opening the new mine are estimated to be US$100 million. The funds will be sourced from the company and the consortium: PT Indika Inti Energi, China Huadian Corporation and PT PLN. “The portion was agreed, but it could not yet be revealed,” he said.

The new mine will supply PLTU Bangko Tengah with 10 million tons of coal per year. The 4x600 megawatt generator will be operated in 2010. The PLTU is aimed at meeting the growing needs for electricity in Java.

Milawarna said that the opening of the new mine could upgrade the company's purchasing value. However, he said, this is yet to be calculated. “The reason for this is that it depends much on the share ownership of each company,” he said.


House cancels free laptops for legislators

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post): The House of Representatives leaders canceled Tuesday to give legislators with free laptops following protests from public.

Metro TV station reported the House speaker Agung Laksono deemed the cancellation was necessary due to numerous questions over the use of the laptops.

Pertamina to spend $1 billion to boost production this year

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

State oil and gas company PT Pertamina will invest up to US$1 billion this year to increase crude oil production by more than 50 percent and natural gas production by approximately 70 percent by 2009.

Pertamina president director Ari H. Soemarno said during a hearing with House of Representative's members Monday that under the expansion plan, the company's oil production was expected to increase by 70,640 barrels per day, or 53 percent, by the end of 1999. The company's gas production is expected to increase by 792 million cubic feet per day, or 70 percent, by the end of 2009, he said.

Ari said that the investment will be used to develop its 170 existing wells and to drill new wells including at the Cepu block in East Java.

The Cepu oil block, which is operated in conjunction with ExxonMobil Oil, is expected to start production by the end of 2008.

The company will also strengthen cooperation with strategic partners in an effort to boost oil and gas production, particularly in the development of high-cost oil and gas fields in frontier areas, which are mostly located in the eastern part of the country, Ari said.

Earlier this month, the company and partner Norwegian oil firm Statoil won the rights to develop an oil and gas block at Karama in the Makassar Strait.

Using Statoil technology, the companies have allocated up to $75 million to finance exploration activities in the block, which is predicted to hold potential oil reserves of 200 million barrels. Statoil holds a 51 percent stake in the endeavor, while Pertamina has a 39 percent stake.

Pertamina is also planning to spend $135 million to develop the Coastal Plains and Pekanbaru (CPP) block in Riau with partner PT Bumi Siak Pusako (BSP) to increase production to 30,000 barrels per day this year from 27,000 last year, general manager for the joint operation Aulia said.

Ari said that Pertamina is also planning to establish a joint venture with Japanese construction company Mitsui to develop its refinery in Cilacap, Central Java, with an estimated investment of between $1.5 billion and $1.7 billion.

Ari said that the refinery was expected to start operations in 2011.

Pertamina finance director Frederick Siahaan said, as quoted by Bloomberg, that the company's net income increased by 15.6 percent to Rp 19 trillion (approximately $2 billion) in 2006 from Rp 16.46 trillion the previous year, below the company's projected target of Rp 21 trillion.

With a surge in crude oil prices, the company expects its profit to increase by about 10 percent to Rp 23 trillion this year.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Govt affirms commitment to investment projects

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government has reiterated its commitment to attracting more foreign investment, affirming its guarantees for major infrastructure projects and longer-term land and property use titles for foreign investors.

The policy affirmation comes as the House of Representatives wraps up deliberation on a new investment bill, which is expected to become law by the end of the month.

"We will of course provide support for the main infrastructure development projects. One form this support will take will be providing guarantees for multi-year projects," Coordinating Minister for the Economy Boediono told Antara news agency last week.

Investors in projects such as toll roads, power plants, and mass transport systems have recently been seeking guarantees from the government to ensure returns on their investments.

The government on its part has said its seeking investors' assurance that projects will be done well and done on time.

The Finance Ministry has formed a unit to assess suitable guarantee schemes for the infrastructure projects.

The government, Boediono said, would also provide suitable support for public infrastructure projects -- mainly concerning land clearance -- privately financed outside of the government's budget.

"We already have regulations to settle problems such as the price of land (for infrastructure projects) turning out to be higher than its actual value," he said.

"This is some of the support we can give."

The president has already issued a regulation allowing for the compulsory acquisition of land for crucial public infrastructure projects, with compensation for the owners based on the taxable value of their land and property (NJOP).

The regulation was aimed at addressing complaints from many investors who were turned off by speculation over land necessary for their projects.

Speaking separately on the issue of land for investment, National Land Agency (BPN) deputy head for land and registration affairs Bambang Eko H.N. said the new investment bill would also allow longer fixed-term use titles for business (HGU) of up to 95 years, for buildings (HGB) up to 80 years, and for land (HP) up to 70 years.

A previous 1996 regulation on foreign property ownership only allowed foreigners to purchase fixed-term HGB titles for up to 25 years.

Bambang said the government may consider a longstanding proposal by the Indonesian Real Estate Developers' Association (REI) to allow foreigners to own land and building ownership titles, with the proviso that they made direct investments in Indonesia.

Indosat plans to invest US$1 billion to boost growth

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The country's second largest phone company, PT Indosat, has set aside a minimum of US$1 billion in capital expenditure this year to bounce back from slower growth last year.

"This year's net profit growth will be somewhat equal to income growth which is around 20 percent," Indosat finance director Wong Heang Tuck told reporters last week.

Last year, the telecommunications company, which is 42 percent owned by Singapore Technologies Telemedia, suffered a 13 percent decline in net profit to Rp 1.41 trillion (approximately $154 million) from Rp 1.62 trillion in 2005.

This is despite the company's total revenue increasing by 6 percent from Rp 11.59 trillion in 2005 to Rp 12.24 trillion in 2006, with its cellular division contributing about 75.4 percent, its data division contributing 15.5 percent and its fixed phone division contributing 9.1 percent.

"In the first half of 2006, our performance was not good, affecting our overall result for the year," Wong said, adding that in the second half of the year the company entered a phase of recovery.

Wong explained that the weak performance in the first half of the year was due to problems in integrating the Satelindo and IM3 networks with Indosat's own network, after a merger in 2005.

"However, since mid 2006 Indosat resolved these problems and has devised several marketing initiatives that will make Indosat the most innovative company in the market and regain growth momentum."

To retain momentum, the company plans to allocate an aggressive capital expenditure budget of $1 billion, 50 percent of which will come from the internal budget and the remaining $500 million from loans.

"In the initial stage, we will issue bonds. After that, we will look for loans from bank syndications, dollar bonds or through other mechanisms."

Indosat marketing director Wahyudi Wijayadi said the company planned to use the fund to expand its telecommunications network, including building another 3,500 to 4,000 base transceiver stations across the archipelago.

"Through that, we aim to attract about five to six million new customers," Wahyudi said.

As of 2006, the company had a total of 16.7 million cellular phone subscribers.

Wahyudi said the target was sensible as growth in the country's cellular industry was far from reaching a plateau.

According to research conducted by Credit Suisse, Indonesia's cellular market, including fixed wireless phones, could grow by 24.8 million new subscribers in 2007.

The company also plans to remain focused on its unique positioning in the 3G market.

"Our 3G positioning is quite different to other operators. We are focused on wireless broadband since internet penetration in Indonesia is limited and such services are not widely offered," Wahyudi said.

"We have launched the service in Jakarta and Surabaya and plan to offer the service in eight more cities later this semester," he said.

China, Indonesia to sign huge deals boosting electric power

Mar. 26, 2007 (China Knowledge) – Indonesia and Chinese corporations have signed a US$2.8 billion agreement to boost Indonesia’s electric power, the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (IMEMR) said.

The agreement totally covers five investment projects with an estimated electric capacity of 10 quadrillion watts, according to the IMEMR announcement.

China National Machinery Industry Corp. (CNMIC), China National Electric Equipment Corp. (CNEEC) and PT Penta Adi Samudra of Indonesia plan to jointly establish three power plants in Indramayu of western Java, valued at US$863.2 million in terms of investment size.

Chengda Engineering Corp. of China (CECC) and PT Truba Jurong of Indonesia have agreed on investing US$492 million on two power stations with a capacity of 316 trillion watts respectively at Labuan in Banten, while Harbin Power Engineering Co. Ltd. (HPE) intends to spend US$466.2 million on one station at Probolinggo in eastern Java with the help of PT Mitra Selaras Utama.

In addition, two Indonesia-based corporations, PT Prianamaya and Tronoh, will cooperate with Chinese company Zeelan for two power stations at Rembang in middle Java area, backed by a total investment worth US$558.

Indonesia`s Medco to build US$58 mln office tower

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - The country's largest local energy company the Medco Group is building its own 43-floor tower in South Jakarta, with a total investment of Rp520 billion (US$57.7 million).

The head office of the company group would occupy 16 floors with total floor space of 22,000 square meters, project manager Bambang Tri said.

He said construction had been underway since June last year and would be completed by the end of this year.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Consortium for bridge construction over Sunda strait to be set up

The Jakarta Post

SERANG, Banten (Antara): The provincial governments of Banten and Lampung will soon set up a joint consortium for the development of a 29-km bridge over the Sunda Strait which will connect the Java island with Sumatra, chairman of Banten's Regional Legislative Council (DPRD), Ady Surya, said on Sunday.

"It is estimated that the bridge would be built at a cost of Rp 17.85 trillion," Surya said.

He said that the agreement to set up a joint consortium was reached during a meeting between Banten regional government officials and Lampung Governor Sachroedin ZP recently.

"Since 2004, the Lampung government already has the intention to invite the president, the finance minister, the chairman of National Development Planning Board (Bapennas) and the public works minister to discuss the plan," he said.

Unluckily, the plan has been delayed since then because it did not receive response from the Banten government, Surya said.

"Thanks God, in the current era of the new Banten governor we once again try to encourage the development of the bridge. We hope that the two local governments would have coordination meeting on the establishment of the consortium next month," headded.

Banten's DPRD Deputy Chairman Sadeli Kariem said a public expose on the development of the bridge would be conducted before the government officials of Lampung and Banten, and relevant ministers at the Banten DPRD building, hopefully next month.

"The presentation will be held to gain support and to obtain inputs from various sides over the plan to develop the Sunda Strait bridge," he added.

He said that after the presentation, the two regional government officials would hold a coordination meeting to discuss their respective roles in the bridge development.

The Sunda Strait is one of the busiest waterway in Indonesia which links the two islands' economic and social activities.

MYCORP to supply 250,000 tonnes of diesel to Indonesia monthly


25 March, 2007, New Sunday Times

Mycorp Oil and Gas Sdn Bhd has secured a contract to supply at least 250,000 tonnes of diesel a month to fishing ports in Indonesia from next month.

Its president, Wan Abdul Rahman Wan Ali, said the actual amount to be supplied under the five-year contract with Indonesian state-owned company PT (persero) Perikanan Nusantara will depend on the demand

Israeli firm: Seaweed could be used to solve energy crisis

By Ofri Ilan, Haaretz Correspondent

The dramatic increase in the price of fuel in recent years has succeeded where many environmental groups have failed: It convinced many firms around the world to seek alternative sources of energy. One of the cheapest alternatives, already commercially available, is the production of fuel from a variety of agricultural produce, mostly corn.

However, the increase in the demand for corn has also caused a significant price hike and developing nations' populations are experiencing difficulties obtaining corn for consumption.

It is now possible that new technology may offer a solution to the problem, which Israeli firm Seambiotic Ltd. revealed earlier this week. The technology allows the production of commercial quantities of fuel from a surprising source, one that will not undermine global food sources: seaweed.

The new technology unveiled by the firm at an international conference on marine biotechnology that opened on Sunday in Eilat, allows the industrial cultivation of seaweed through the use of carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

Instead of allowing the polluting gas -one of the main contributors to global warming- to escape into the atmosphere, the gas passes through a filtration process and enters a pool, where it feeds microscopic seaweed. The seaweed is used to produce fuel.

According to the scientists who developed this technology, it is possible to produce a liter of fuel for every five kilograms of seaweed.

The technology was developed in the experimental farm set up by Seambiotic Ltd. three years ago in the compound of the Ashkelon power plant, with the support of the Israel Electric Corporation.

The seaweed pools are situated several hundred meters from the power plant smokestacks, and are filled with sea water that is used to cool the plant's turbines. The seaweed used is found in the Mediterranean in small concentrations, but the carbon dioxide allows it to grow in the pools at a concentration of one million times greater.

Last week, the company filed a technology patent in the United States.

"In the scientific literature, it is stated that it is impossible to grow seaweed through the use of carbon dioxide from power plants, because of the large quantities of pollutants released from the smokestacks," says Amnon Bachar, director of Seambiotic.

"But it appears that whoever wrote that does not know how to grow seaweed. We have found that seaweed can grow on the basis of the carbon dioxide being emitted from power plants. We get the carbon dioxide for free, and the power plant produces less pollution," he said.

The use of carbon dioxide reduces the cost of production radically, to about 50 cents per kilo of seaweed.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

PLN set to sign five more power deals next month

Urip Hudiono, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

State-owned electricity firm PT PLN will sign contracts next month for the construction of five coal-fired power plants that will have a total output capacity of about 3,600 megawatts (MW).

"All of the plants are located in Java," Yogo Pratomo, who heads the government's power-sector development program, told reporters Friday after a meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla, PLN president Eddie Widiono, and a number of economics ministers to discuss the program's progress.

He said that the five power projects were part of the government's fast-track program to boost electricity supply by about 1,000 MW within three years up until the end of 2009.

"We also expect to sign the contracts for 25 other power plants outside of Java, starting June."

The five projects for which contracts will be signed in April consist of 900-MW power plants at Teluk Naga in Banten and Pelabuhan Ratu in West Java, and 600-MW plants at Jepara in Central Java, and Pacitan and Awar-Awar, both in East Java.

Yogo did not elaborate on the names of the investors for the five new power plants.

Earlier this March, PLN signed contracts for four coal-fired power plants, all in Java, with a total capacity of 3,300 MW.

The four projects are the 600-MW new Suralaya plant in Banten, to be constructed by the China National Technical Import & Export Corp. (CNTIC), the 600-MW Labuan plant in Banten, to be constructed by Chenda Engineering Corporation and its partner, PT Truba Jurong Engineering, the 900-MW Indramayu plant in West Java, to be constructed by a consortium consisting of China National Machinery Industry Corporation (Sinomach), China National Electronics Equipment Company (CNEEC) and PT Penta Adi Samudera, the 600-MW Rembang plant in Central Java, to be constructed by Zelan Malaysia, and the 600-MW new Paiton plant in East Java, to be constructed by China's Harbin Power.

The government launched a "fast-track program" last year to provide additional supply to the nation's power grid of some 10,000 MW by 2009 against a backdrop of growing demand for electricity.

The program will cost some $8 billion for power generation alone, Eddie said, and will amount to Rp 160 trillion (some US$17 billion) if the costs of power transmission and distribution are included.

Eddie said that the program would result in full power coverage for the country, and add another 30 million PLN customers over the next 15 years. Currently, the country's electrification rate stands at 56 percent, and PLN has 35 million customers.

The program has from the outset been the subject of controversy, with the government initially preferring the direct appointment mechanism before acceding to public criticism and eventually holding open tenders.

This was followed by a lack of interest from investors, with several projects having to be re-tendered. Most potential investors complained about project financing issues and the low power-purchase prices offered by PLN.

The signing of the contracts came after a two-month delay due to the fact that the developers failed to submit their performance bonds on time.

Yogo said the government would pursue its discussions with potential investors about government power-purchase guarantees, and would continue to uphold PLN's public service obligation.

Yogo also said that local bank financing would be prioritized for all power plants with outputs of 65 MW or less.

Meanwhile, for those with capacities of 100 MW and above, 85 percent would be financed through export credits and 15 percent through the Rp 2.2 trillion in bonds that PLN issued last year.

Mandom expands production capacity to meet sales target

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Publicly listed cosmetics manufacturer PT Mandom Indonesia Tbk. is targeting a 5 percent increase in net sales this year to Rp 1 trillion (US$110 million) from Rp 951.6 billion last year.

To achieve its target, the company has expanded its factory, doubling its production capacity to 150 million dozen units from 75 million dozen at present.

"We have expanded our factory from 16,000 to 40,000 square meters," Mandom Indonesia's president director, Mitsuhiro Yamashita, said Friday during the official opening of the expanded plant in Cibitung, West Java.

He said that the new manufacturing facility, construction of which was started in February 2006, would be used for package production, packaging, and finished-product storage, while manufacturing would take place in another factory in Sunter, North Jakarta.

The company invested Rp 90 billion on the expansion project. Financing was generated by the issuance of rights shares in February 2006, which increased the number of company shares from 156 million to 180 million.

Besides selling on the domestic market, the company also exports its products, mainly to the United States, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and a number of Asian countries.

Mandom Indonesia, a majority stake in which is held by parent company Mandom Corporation of Japan, is targeting an increase in its proportion of exports to 25 percent this year from 23 percent last year.

The company's domestic sales increased by 7.1 percent to Rp 753.5 billion in 2006 from Rp 700 billion in 2005, while its exports decreased by 4.1 percent to Rp 205.2 billion last year from Rp 198.1 billion the previous year.

In 2006, the company booked Rp 100.1 billion in net income, a 7.8 percent rise from Rp 92.3 billion in 2005.

Industry Minister Fahmi Idris, who also attended the ceremony, said that the cosmetics industry had notched up rapid growth over the last couple of years, both in terms of quality and technology.

He said that currently there were 829 cosmetic manufacturers nationwide, 29 of which were foreign owned.

Indonesia Air plans to expand, launch scheduled, cargo services

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Publicly listed charter airline operator PT Indonesia Air Transport (IATA) is expanding its business into scheduled passenger and cargo services.

"We are planning to move, one step at a time, to open up scheduled services within the next two or three years," IATA president director Roekman Prawirasasra said Friday after a shareholders extraordinary meeting.

"Most airlines choose to compete on lucrative routes, such as the Jakarta-Surabaya route, but this company prefers to serve the eastern parts of the country," he said, adding that the company, which will serve the country's main tourist destination, Bali, and major cities in the eastern part of the country, saw major business opportunities in scheduled services.

IATA has purchased two ATR 42-300 airplanes for US$3 million each from the Denmark-based Nordic Aviation Contractor. In cooperation with tourism company PT Mirantha Nuansa Ayu, IATA has been flying one of the planes in Bali since earlier this month, while the other one is still in Denmark and will commence operations in May.

According to Roekman, IATA will purchase another three aircraft, either ATRs or Fokker 50s, in order to provide scheduled services.

The company is also considering whether to move into the cargo business, despite the current gloomy market conditions.

IATA plans to spend US$30 million on aircraft procurement this year alone.

Currently, IATA, with a fleet of 17 aircraft, provides services to a number of mining and forestry companies.

The firm, which is 79.8 percent owned by publicly listed PT Bimantara Citra, closed 2006 with a surging net profit of Rp 28.64 billion ($3.11 million), up by 89 percent from Rp 15.12 billion in 2005, despite a fall in company revenue.

Roekaman said that the increase in net profit was partly due to a decline of debt-repayment expenses.

IATA's revenue in 2006 fell by 12 percent to Rp 204.13 billion from Rp 231.05 billion in the previous year due to the strengthening of the rupiah against U.S. dollar.

For this year, IATA expects to boost its revenue and net profit by between 10 and 15 percent.

House to procure 550 laptops

The Jakarta Post

Despite strong criticism, the House of Representatives will go ahead with its plan to procure laptops for all of its 550 legislators.

Speaker Agung Laksono said here Friday it was impossible for the House to suspend the laptop procurement because it was already approved and included in the 2007 state budget following a House decision in October 2005.

"The procurement project will go ahead, but the supervision will be enhanced. The laptops will be loaned to legislators, who are later required to return them after completing their terms in parliament," he said.

"The most important thing is that the procurement will be conducted transparently and their use will be closely supervised."

Chairman of the House's Internal Affairs Committee, Ebby Djauhari, said the procurement was based on a recommendation from the joint team appointed to assess the House's performance.

"The laptops should not be seen as gifts to legislators, but as state facilities made available in the parliament. The Internal Affairs Committee decided to provide not only laptops, but also expert staff to assist legislators in doing their tasks," he said during a House discussion on Friday.

Telematics expert Roy Suryo questioned the urgency of the laptop procurement, insisting legislators were not prepared to utilize the sophisticated technology.

"It would be better for the House's secretariat-general to first find out who among the legislators is really in need of a laptop, and to provide a short course for those unfamiliar with the technology," he said.

Arbi Sanit, a political analyst at the University of Indonesia, said he doubted the laptops -- which cost Rp 21 million (US$2,300) per unit -- would improve the House's overall performance.

"Legislators behave like soldiers, whose necessities, from pants, food, electricity, telephones and foreign trips, are financed by the state, while their constituents are left malnourished, sick and uneducated," he said.

"If the House is committed to improving its performance, it should repair its operational system and internal rulings and set itself a minimum target of tasks to achieve. At the same time, legislators should change their mindset," he said.

He said the drafting of political bills was the best way for the House to improve its performance, in addition to establishing strong political parties and organizing high-quality legislative elections to yield qualified and dedicated legislators.

In related developments, the National Mandate Party (PAN) has requested that the House's Internal Affairs Committee prioritize the much-needed recruitment of staff to aid legislators in performing their tasks.

"It is not an appropriate time for the House to equip legislators with laptops. The project should be suspended until the country's economic condition makes it more feasible. The secretariat-general should focus on recruiting expert staff and allocate an adequate budget to pay them well," said Zulkifli Hasan, secretary of the House's PAN faction. (JP/Ridwan Max Sijabat)

Govt to add 10 hours of power to islands

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

After decades of being untouched by development, Kepulauan Seribu regency in North Jakarta will soon be in the spotlight.

The installation of undersea power cables next year is set to brighten up life on the regency's islands, with the provision of electricity 24 hours a day.

The Jakarta administration plans to establish a medium-power electricity network reaching from Teluk Naga on Untung Jawa to Lancang and Tidung islands.

"This year we will invest Rp 114 billion (US$ 12,5 million) in the project," Deputy Governor Fauzi Bowo said Friday at City Hall.

Fauzi said the money to finance the 43-kilometer undersea power cable project would come from the 2007 city budget.

"The project is expensive because all the cables are imported," he said, adding that by 2009 every island of the regency would have adequate electrical power.

Currently, Kepulauan Seribu, which has some 20,000 inhabitants, is supplied with electricity for only 14 hours a day from a diesel generator at a cost of Rp 40 billion to the city administration.

"This project is the first cooperation between the city administration and PLN in the regency," Fauzi said, adding that the administration was funding the network procurement and PLN would manage distribution.

He said they would soon hold a tender for the project and hopefully, midway through the year, the development process would start.

The administration will use a pre-paid system, as in the use of cell phones, to keep electricity usage under control once the project is finished.

"Residents will buy a kind of account card as in the pre-paid cell-phone system to activate the electricity," Fauzi said.

Although the name Kepulauan Seribu means thousand islands there are in fact 105 islands stretching 45 kilometers north into the Java Sea with the closest lying in Jakarta Bay, only a few kilometers off mainland Jakarta.

On average, the islands are less than 10 hectares in total and less than three meters above sea level.

A number of islands have been developed as tourist resorts, and islands in the northern part of the regency have been zoned as a national marine park to preserve underwater resources.

As a tourist destination, Kepulauan Seribu is striving to build proper facilities on the islands, including an airport.

In 2005, Kepulauan Seribu Regent Djoko Ramadhan cited his plan to build an airport in Pulau Panjang and had started the tender process, but up to now there has been no significant progress in the project.

Technology brings the sea closer to home

Prodita Sabarini, The Jakarta Post

The bright side of the city's water shortages is that people are now exploring alternative sources to groundwater.

One alternative is to build water desalination plants to turn seawater into potable water.

"It is possible because the technology is available in Indonesia. For desalination plants, the technologies applied include reverse osmosis technology as well as distillation," Sakt A. Siregar, Siemens Water technologies business development manager, said Friday.

Germany-based Siemens provided the technology for Singapore's water desalination plant.

Sakti said a water desalination plant could supply a large amount of water, depending on its size. "An average sized one can supply around 100 liters of water per second."

Desalination is a process that removes dissolved minerals -- including but not limited to salt -- from seawater, brackish water or treated wastewater. A number of technologies have been developed for desalination, including reverse osmosis (RO), distillation, electrodialysis and vacuum freezing.

Currently, Jakarta's main water supply comes from raw water sources located in Bogor, Depok, Bekasi and Tangerang, as well as Jatiluhur Dam in West Java.

Haryadi Priyohutama, the director of city water company PAM Jaya, has said there is no guarantee the dam will have the capacity to supply Jakarta in the long term.

Jakarta uses 16 cubic meters of water per second, while Jatiluhur Dam, in Purwakarta, West Java, has the capacity to supply 14 cubic meters per second.

It is estimated that by 2009 the city will be using 21.6 cubic meters of water per second. By 2015, demand will have reached 42 cubic meters of water per second.

The Jakarta administration has said the city suffers a water deficit of 36 million cubic meters per year from the total demand of 400 million cubic meters a year.

Sakti said many of the country's industries, such as petrochemical industries and power plants, had already built desalination plants to meet their water needs.

He said that building municipal desalination plants might be a good alternative for the city to consider. However, he doubted that would happen in the near future considering the plan required a capital investment of millions of dollars.

"For Jakarta I think the trend will be clustered desalination plants. The plants won't be constructed by municipalities, but by industries for their own source of water."

He said the management of Ancol amusement park, which is situated on the northern coast of Jakarta, was planning to build a desalination plant for its own use.

"That's what the trend will likely be."

Mobile units capable of treating even the most turbid water

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post

The Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB) has been working on a mobile water treatment system, which can be started up and applied on the spot, in response to the unequal access to potable water in the city.

A single mobile unit has the capacity to treat 400 cubic meters of polluted water a day.

"One unit can serve more than 4,000 people with a production cost of Rp 1,100 per cubic meter," Indratmo Soekarno, the head of the ITB's department of civil engineering, said recently.

He said the treatment units were able to purify dirty water taken from rivers, wells or lakes.

"The quality of the water is of little consequence. One of our mobile units can purify water with a turbidity of 10,000 ppm (parts per million), which cannot be treated by the state-owned water operators," he said.

The dirty water is first oscillated, spiraling heavier particles like sand and sediment away, before being filtered.

Chlorine is then used to destroy disease-causing contaminants.

Indratmo said the technology could also be applied to make seawater potable, with a production cost of Rp 9,000 per cubic meter.

"We are also developing the technology to reduce the production cost still further," he said.

The treatment units were first used in the city during the floods last month, which left millions of people without access to clean water.

The ITB, in cooperation with the Indonesian Medical Association (IDI), deployed two treatment units to Jakarta.

"We set up one unit on Jl. Sultan Agung, East Jakarta, and another in Bekasi, giving free potable water to the flood victims," Hasnah Siregar, the IDI's chief public relations officer, said.

Many of the city's poor have limited or no access to clean water.

A report issued by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) last year said Jakarta's slum dwellers paid five to 10 times more for water than people living in upscale areas.

The report said almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than US$2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.

Half of the some 10 million inhabitants of the city are believed to rely on groundwater.

The administration says groundwater supplies are steadily depleting due to overexploitation coupled with the poor rainwater catchment facilities in the city.

In low-lying North Jakarta, for example, groundwater depletion has caused serious land subsidence, making the area more vulnerable to flooding and allowing water from the Java Sea to seep into the coastal aquifers.

The administration says 80 percent of the groundwater in wells with depths of 10-20 meters is polluted.

Govt easing procedures of doing business in densely-industrialized areas

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government is trying to loosen six procedures for doing businesses in the country`s eight densely-industrialized regions to raise its investment privilege rating to 75th in 2008 from 135th in 2006, an official said.

"We will launch the project in eight densely-industrialized regions first," Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Mohammad Lufti said following a limited coordination meeting with Vice President Jusuf Kalla at the Office of the Administrative Reforms Minister here on Friday.

The meeting also agreed on the formation of a small team with Administrative Reforms Minister Taufiq Effendy as its chief and the BKPM chief Mohammad Lufti as executive chief to relax the procedures for doing businesses in the regions.

The eight regions are Jakarta, Banten, West Java, Central Java, East Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

The six procedures cover exports and imports, enforcing contracts, paying taxes, applying for building permits, and starting a business.

"Under the current circumstances, we will be able to improve our rating to 56th from 135th on condition that other countries do nothing to improve their investment privileges," Lufti said.

Under the present procedure, a foreign investor needed 97 days to start a business in the country and the government had been trying to reduce the period to 23 days, he said.

"God willing, a foreign investor can start doing business within 23 days," he said.

Japan provides 23.5 billion yen loans to Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Japan has agreed to extend soft loans worth 23.554 billion yen (equivalent to Rp1.86 trillion) to Indonesia to develop its economic and social sectors.

The loan agreement was signed by Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Shin Ebihara and Indonesian Foreign Ministry`s Director General for Asia-Pacific and African Affairs Primo Alui Joelianto at the latter`s office here on Friday, the Japanese Embassy said in a statement.

The loan which carries an annual interest of 1.5 percent with a grace period of 30 years will be used to finance two major projects, namely third development policy and infrastructure reform projects. The projects will cost Rp933.65 billion each.

The third development policy project will focus on improving the macro-economic stability, investment climate, and poverty alleviation. The infrastructure reform project is designed to speed up the building of infrastructure facilities.

The two projects will also be financed with loans from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

Early this month Japan provided 200 million yen (Rp15.86 billion or US$1.72 million) in grants to Indonesia to support programs to promote food production and lift the people out of poverty.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Qatar provides teacher training

The Jakarta Post

KLATEN: In its effort to help improve the quality of teachers and students in earthquake-affected regions, the government Qatar has established a training center here at SMPN 1 Bayat junior high school.

The training center was established by the Qatar Foundation in cooperation with Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) and Yayasan Titian Masa Depan.

According to ROTA media consultant Jill McCarthy, the training center would be in operation for five years and aimed mainly to improve the quality of both the teachers and students in the region.

"The training center will not change the existing educational system nor the curriculum, but enrich them instead," McCarthy said.

Apart from the center, Qatar also provided the school with Rp 10 billion in reconstruction funds to rebuild the heavily damaged buildings of the school.

McCarthy also said that similar training centers would be established next month at SD Madugondo elementary school and SMPN 2 junior high school, both in Piyungan, Bantul, and at SDN I and SMPN 1 Kalasan in Sleman.

The daughter of Qatar's emir, Sara binti Hamid Al-Thani, visited the training center in Bayat earlier this month, accompanied by Qatar Foundation chairman Rasyid Al-Naimi. -- JP/Slamet Susanto

Japex, Mitsubishi plan to spend $400m in Kangean

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Japan Petroleum Exploration Co. (Japex) and Mitsubishi Corp. will invest US$400 million to boost production from the Kangean oil and gas field in East Java after the Japanese firms bought 50 percent of the block.

Japex president director Yuji Tanahashi said Thursday that the consortium had bought a 50 percent stake in the block from PT Energi Mega Persada (EMP) through an agreement signed last month.

The two companies bought the stake for $360 million, with the stake being split equally between them.

Located in the eastern part of Madura island, the Kangean block, which mostly produces gas, is currently pumping out some 10,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day, with all of the production supplying the domestic market.

According to Yuji, the consortium expects the new investment to boost the block's production to 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day within three years.

"We plan to revitalize the production of crude oil and natural gas, and are prioritizing production for the domestic market," he said.

He added that the consortium planned to increase its investment in the future.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Truba to build four power plants

Bloomberg - 2007-03-22 14:45

JAKAKTA, March 22, 2007 (Bloomberg) - PT Truba Alam Manunggal Engineering, an Indonesian electrical and mining contractor, will start building four power plants with an investment of US$521 million this year, President Director Arif in Wiguna said.

It plans to sell the electricity to PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara, Indonesia's state power utility, he said in Jakarta.

Truba has partners to build the plants, Wiguna said, without naming them.

The biggest of the projects are Kuala Tanjung power plant in North Sumatra and Banyuasin plant in South Sumatra, each with a capacity of 225 megawatts.

The electricity will be sold at 4.74 U.S. cents a kilowatt-hour and 4.5 U.S.cents a kilowatt-hour, respectively. The other two plants are in Pontianak in West Kalimantan with a capacity 50 megawatts and in Bangka with a capacity of 21 megawatts.

Hutchison to start services soon

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Indonesian unit of Hong Kong-based telecommunications giant Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. announced Wednesday the successful completion of the company's 2G and 3G user trials.

The company said that the completion of the trials, with threshold levels defined for all key network and service parameters fully met, would pave the way for the company to launch its nationwide 2G and 3G services on March 31 as scheduled.

PT Hutchison CP Telecom (HCPT), which is controlled by billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hutchison, began the trials in December to evaluate the quality of the network and customer service processes.

"This is certainly an important milestone for HCPT to launch its services in Indonesia," HCPT chief executive officer Rajiv Sawhney said in a statement.

Hutchison, and Malaysia's Maxis Communications Bhd., which owns a 51 percent stake in PT Natrindo Telepon Sellular, are the most recent foreign entrants to the Indonesian mobile phone market, where about one in four people own a mobile phone.

PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel), the country's biggest cellular phone operator, and PT Indosat, the No. 2, have about 51 million users combined.

Hutchison earlier said that it would also spend up to US$1 billion this year on constructing a network in Sumatra, the country's second most populated island.

In 2006, the company spent about $1 billion on erecting masts in Java, the most populated island, to enable it to compete with the existing operators.

Natrindo, which has allocated between $1 billion and $1.3 billion on network expansion over the next three years, also plans to begin offering services this year

Further progress in talks to develop Sabang with Dublin Port

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - The Sabang Area Management Agency (BPKS) and Dubln Port company of Ireland have made further progress in their negotiations to set up a joint venture company to develop and manage Sabang as a free port, a BKPS spokesman said.

"The process of our negotiations has resulted in another agreement, namely on which side is to hold the position of president director and who that of president commissioner in the joint venture company," BKPS Deputy Chief Nasruddin Daud said here Tuesday.

Dublin Port would occupy the position of president director and BPKS that of president commissioner of the joint venture company that would manage the Sabang free port for a period of 10 years, he said. After the first 10 years, the allocation of the positions would be determined by an experts board, he added.

Teams representing the two parties were now also drawing up more detailed plans for the formation of the joint venture company.

The two parties had agreed that each would have a 50-percent controlling interest in the joint venture to develop and manage Sabang as a free port of international standards.

One of the first things the joint venture would undertake was to increase the capacity of facilities at the Teluk and Balohan Sabang ports so that they would become a new economic growth hub on the most western tip of Indonesia.

The pier of Sabang port which now was only 100 meters long would be lengthened to 2,000 meters. Its cargo loading and unloading equipment and facilities such cranes would be increased and expanded and so would its container holding area.

The cooperation will also cover provision of clean water to serve ships calling at the free port, Nasruddin said.