“ … 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.)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Merpati to sell its maintenance facility later this year

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - State-owned airline company PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MNA) planned to sell its stake in the Merpati Maintenace Facility (MMF), one of the company`s strategic business units, later this year.

"We are not yet sure how much of the stake in MMF that we plan to sell. The sales proceed will be returned to the MMF. MNA will focus on its core business only," MNA Corporate Secretary Irvan Harijanto told the press here on Thursday.

The MMF became a subsidary of MNA after a spin-off sometime ago.

He said that the strategic value of the spin-off was yet to be known as it was still being assessed. The percentage of the stake that would be sold would be set after its strategic value had been issued.

Irvan said that the ownership portion that would be sold was unlikely to reach 50 percent because MNA wanted to remain the MMF`s major stake holder.

"Merpati will continue to need maintenance facilties, especially that more than 60 pecent of airplanes the MMF is handling belong to Merpati, while the remaining 40 percent belonged to other airlines," he added.

He said that with the spin-off and with a portion of its shares onwed by other parties, it was expected that the MMF would be able to handle not only small planes but the larger ones as well such those handled by the Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF).

The MMF has been taking care of the maintenance of aircraft of many different types, like DHC-6 Twin Otter, Fokker F-27, F-28, F-100 and Boeing 737, series 200, 300 and 400.

The MMF`s customers care not only domestic airlines but foreign airline companies as well like those from Thailand, Malaysia and New Zealand, Irvan said.

Merpati is now operating 30 airplanes, 15 of which are jets and 15 others turbo-props. Up to the first semester of 2007, the company has earned Rp755.3 billion.

Thiess and Siemens to build power plant in South Sumatra

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Two foreign investors - Thiess from Australia and Siemens from Germany - have agreed to cooperate with local company PT Petromuba to build a coal fired power plant in South Sumatra.

The Rp3 trillion (US$330 million) power plant to be built in a coal mines in Banyuasin will have a capacity of 300 megawatts. Construction of the project is to start early next year, Musi Banyuasin regent Alex Noerdin said.

Coal for the power plant will be supplied locally, head of the district mining and energy office Zuher Effendi said, adding that coal reserves in that district are sufficient to feed the power plant for 30 years.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

PT Inco expects to start construction of Karebbe Dam next month

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Nickel miner PT International Nickel Indonesia (Inco) expects to start the construction of a new dam, called the Karebbe dam, on the Larona river in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi, which will increase its hydroelectric power-generating capacity by 90 megawatts or 33 pct, company president Arif Siregar said.

"We're now waiting for the final clearance letter from the Forestry Ministry, which we expect to receive soon. If everything goes as planned, we could begin constructing the dam next month and it should be completed in 2009," Siregar was quoted by Thomson Financial as telling reporters.

His company estimates that the cost of building the dam is 280 million US dollars.

Siregar said he expected that, once the dam was completed, his company's output would increase to 200 million pounds of nickel in matte in 2010 from the 60-165 million pounds forecast for this year.

Indonesia`s MLC to invest US$15 bln in metals venture

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - PT Merukh Lembata Copper (MLC) says it will spend around US$15 billion to exploit gold, copper and silver deposits in the regency of Lembata, East Nusatenggara.

"MLC will cooperate with German firms Kufer Produkte GmbH, Nortddeutche Affinerie AG and IKB Deutche Indutroebank AG - which will act as the financier," company President Jusuf Merukh told the newspaper Investor Daily.

Merukh said the project will start next year after the completion of a feasibility study.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Bakrie to expand oil palm plantation area through joint venture

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Publicly-listed PT Bakrie Sumatra Plantation Tbk has set up a joint venture company, Agri Resources BV, with several foreign investors to expand its oil palm plantation area.

"We plan to conduct extensive expansion with a target of increasing our plantations by 100,000 hectares within six years` time. We just received US$250 million worth of funds which are certainly very significant for implementing our plan," the company`s president director, Ambono Janurianto, said here on Tuesday.

He said his company had a 20-percent share in the new company which is based in the Netherlands by paying around US$10 million in participation capital.

The other US$90 million of the capital was paid by foreign investment companies and another US$150 million from senior secured notes issued by AI Finance BV, an affiliated company set up by the investors` partners in Singapore.

Ambono said on June 26 he had signed a document relating to capital participation in the Agri Resources BV that plans to acquire several plantation companies in the country.

As an initial step he said Agri Resources BV recently acquired a plantation company that holds 36,000 hectares of land in the southern part of Sumatra with 19,000 of them already planted, adding 75 percent of the trees in the planted area was already mature.

Ambono said the joint venture company had entrusted Bakrie Sumatra Plantation Tbk to manage plantation companies it would acquire based on a management agreement.

"We enjoy direct advantage through a management fee of US$100 per hectare per year from every plantation we manage," he said.

He said Bakrie would also get a marketing fee of US$10 per ton of crude palm oil and US$5 per ton of palm kernel sold based on an off-take agreement.

"We are optimistic the series of transactions that we have made will bring much benefit not only in terms of corporate financial performance but also income and operational performance," he said.

He said Bakrie itself expected to increase its plantation area by at least 7,000 hectares by the end of this year.

Residents unhappy with free gas stoves

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A government initiative to phase out the use of kerosene in households and replace it with gas has received a mixed response from the public, with some Jakarta residents wanting to return their free gas stoves.

Some residents in Kebon Sirih subdistrict, in Central Jakarta, reportedly want to return their free gas stoves out of fear they will cause fires. But other residents have actually welcomed the giveaways, which were distributed on June 30.

"Using a gas stove (to cook) is actually pretty convenient, as food cooks quicker," housewife Harni "Nita" Yusnita told The Jakarta Post on Saturday. "The only thing is the limited capacity of the tank; only 3 kilograms, and the price of a refill is expensive."

Nita reverted back to using kerosene after her free gas supply ran out, as none of the nearby shops sell the refills.

The distribution of gas stoves and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders to poor households in Jakarta is part of a government effort to phase out heavily subsidized household kerosene, which is mostly used as cooking fuel.

The retail price for a 3-kilogram gas refill, which is currently subsidized by the state, is Rp 15,000 (equivalent to US$1.66) -- higher than the official state-owned oil company PT Pertamina price of Rp 12,750.

Pertamina currently holds a monopoly over nearly 95 percent of the country's fuel distribution.

The cost of a gas refill is equivalent to about six liters of kerosene, based on the current rate of between Rp 2,000 and Rp 3,500 per liter.

According to Nita, a 3-kg gas refill lasts for about three days when used moderately, while six liters of kerosene usually lasts a week.

Nita said she had no qualms about safety in converting to gas, since she had followed proper procedures.

"I think many residents got too excited when they received their free stoves and failed to check the regulator prior to installing the set ... this is probably why fires started," Nita said, referring to a an inferno that razed 50 houses in a densely populated area in Cawang, East Jakarta, in late June.

The fire was reportedly sparked by one of the giveaway stoves a resident was trying to turn on. No deaths or injuries were reported in the blaze.

A neighbor of Nita and food stall owner, Ana Radianawati, was eager to start using her gas stove, but delayed doing so as she had just bought a brand new kerosene stove.

"It would be such a waste to ditch the one I just bought for the gas one," said Ana, who has been selling food in the neighborhood for more than 15 years.

Darojat Tafsir, another Kebon Sirih resident, told the Post that while most Kebon Sirih residents preferred using gas stoves, there were a few who had difficulty in converting from kerosene.

"A couple of my neighbors, particularly the older ones, don't know how to use them ... they have used kerosene for so long," Darojat said.

The city consumes about 2.7 million liters of kerosene per day.

A severe shortage of the country's kerosene supply, which affected a number of cities, has caused prices to skyrocket, with low-income households bearing much of the brunt.

The government, which allocated Rp 40 trillion in 2006 to subsidize millions of kiloliters of kerosene for household use, eventually introduced an ambitious nationwide program of converting to LPG.

The initiative, launched by Vice President Jusuf Kalla on May 8, 2007, has been implemented by Pertamina, which is set to distribute more than 300,000 gas stoves and 3-kg LPG cylinders to around 400,000 poor households that are still using kerosene stoves in Jakarta, Depok and Tangerang.

The program will also extend to Medan, Palembang, Semarang, Surabaya, Denpasar, Banjarmasin, Makassar and several other major cities around the country.

India`s TVS launches motorcycle production in Indonesia

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Indian motorcycle maker TVS Motor Company Ltd (BSE:532343) launched production in Indonesia yesterday.

The factory with an annual production capacity of 300,000 units of motorcycles, built at a cost of US$50 million, is designed to be the production base for TVS motorcycles in Southeast Asia, TVS chairperson Venu Srinivasan said.

The factory under PT TVS Motor Company Indonesia, located in the Karawang industrial estate, is TVS's first production unit outside India. TVS will increase investment in its Indonesian unit to US$100 million in 2010.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

First coal liquefaction plant proposed for South Kalimantan

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Following its establishment in May, a consortium made up of coal mining firms will soon begin a feasibility study on plans to build the country's first coal liquefaction plant.

Bukin Daulay, the director of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's Mineral and Coal Technology Research and Development Center, said Friday that the feasibility study on the project would begin in August and would take six months to complete.

"JBIC (Japan Bank for International Cooperation) will finance the feasibility study by providing a grant of US$500,000," Bukin said following a meeting between the consortium and government officials.

He said that the consortium had agreed during the meeting to build the US$1.3 billion plant in coal-mining firm Arutmin's mining concession in Satui, South Kalimantan.

Based on the results of a pre-feasibility study by Japanese research firms in 2002, Satui was the most suitable site for the project, Bukin said.

He also said that Arutmin might supply 2.5 million tons to the plant, which would convert coal into liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel, and have an initial capacity of 13,500 barrels per day.

The other members of the consortium would likely contribute to the project in the form of equity. However, precise figures had yet to be discussed, Bukin said.

The price of the plants output would be highly competitive, at an average price of $35 per barrel, compared to crude oil, whose price is expected to reach $100 per barrel in the next few years, said Eiichiro Makino, a coal industry consultant advising the ministry.

The plant is expected to come onstream in 2013.

Coal liquefaction is one of the alternative sources of energy that will be promoted by the government as part of its efforts to decrease the country's dependency on oil.

Under the government's latest energy policy, coal liquefaction should account for 2 percent of the total national energy mix by 2025.

The government hopes that the capacity of the South Kalimantan plant can be raised to 27,000 barrels per day by 2017 at a cost of $2.1 billion.

In order to meet the 2 percent target, Indonesia will need the develop coal liquefaction plants with a combined output of 189,000 barrels per day by 2025.

Biznet to spend $20m on network expansion

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Internet service and network provider Biznet is spending up to US$20 million on an ongoing project to expand its fiber-optic network to reach more commercial buildings in Jakarta's central business district.

"With our fiber-optic network, we are not only an Internet service provider, but also a network provider in Jakarta," Edward Kusma, Biznet's product manager, told reporters Friday.

The company has so far expanded its network to 110 buildings in the Sudirman, Kuningan, Thamrin, Gatot Subroto, Slipi, Simatupang and Pondok Indah areas, including 94 office buildings, seven apartment complexes, five shopping malls, and four hotels.

With the completion of the fiber-optic network, the company's services will extend to more business districts in Greater Jakarta, including Cikarang in Bekasi, Serpong in Tangerang, Kelapa Gading in East Jakarta and Bintaro in South Jakarta, he said.

Biznet, which recorded 50 percent business growth last year, is focusing on Jakarta as between 70 and 80 percent of demand in Indonesia is concentrated here.

The company is also focusing on corporate customers as it is simpler to connect such customers than individual households, he explained.

"It is easier to set up the infrastructure in a building with a lot of tenants than to set it up for individual households in a residential complex," said Edward, adding that about 80 percent of the company's customers were corporations.

Figures from Internet World Stats, an international Internet organization, reveals that Internet market penetration in Indonesia currently stands at only eight percent, compared to 69.9 percent in the United States, and 17.5 percent in Vietnam.

However, with 18 million Internet users this year, Indonesia is ranked 15th in the world in terms of numbers of users, accounting for 1.6 percent of the world total.

Pertamina to revamp Cilacap refinery

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

State-owned oil and gas company Pertamina may spend US$100 million out of its own reserves to partly finance the expansion of its Cilacap refinery in Central Java.

Pertamina president director Ari Soemarno said Friday that Pertamina would team up with Japan's Mitsui Corporation to revamp the refinery.

He said that the upgrade, which would cost about US$1.8 billion, would raise the processing capacity of the refinery by 62,000 barrels per day from the existing 348,000 barrels per day.

About $500 million will be financed by equity from both Pertamina and its partner Mitsui, he said, adding that Pertamina would provide at least $100 million for the project.

"The remaining $1.3 billion for the upgrade will come from the banks," he explained.

Ari said that Pertamina and Mitsui were currently negotiating with a number of international lenders to partly finance the project.

He said Pertamina was considering hiring Korean engineering firm Chiyoda, Britain-based engineering firm JCC Engineering Ltd., or U.S. engineering firm Becthel Group Inc. to design the revamped plant.

"We hope that the design will be completed by the end of this year so that we can start construction early next year," Ari said.

The project is scheduled to be completed in 2010.

Currently, Pertamina operates seven refineries with a total capacity of 1.051 million barrels per day.

Pertamina wants to boost its refining capacity so as to increase its output, given that the country still imports a third of its oil needs due to the fact that its refining capacity is not big enough to meet demand.

Pertamina will import 10.4 million barrels of fuel products in August, made up of 3.4 million barrels of gasoline, 6 million barrels of diesel oil and 600,000 barrels of kerosene.

Friday, July 13, 2007

RI to host first international rattan exhibition next year

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The local rattan industry is gearing up to hold its first international exhibition next year as part of an effort to attract more international buyers and promote the use of natural rattan in the furniture industry.

The International Furniture and Craft Fair Indonesia (IFFINA), which will be held from March 5 through 9 at the Jakarta International Expo complex at Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, will be organized by the Indonesia Furniture Industry and Handicraft Association (ASMINDO).

The association's executive director, Sae Tanangga Karim, said Thursday that the expo, which would cover 10,000 square meters, was expected to be attended by around 600 exhibitors, with more than a hundred of them coming from abroad.

"Vietnam, one of the rising furniture exporters, has confirmed it will participate in the expo," Sae said at the launch of the expo plan by Industry Minister Fahmi Idris, chairman of the National Craft Council, Mufidah Jusuf Kalla, and the representatives of other bodies.

"We expect the expo to attract potential buyers from 32 countries, including the European countries and the United States," said Sae, adding that the association would also bring a road show to ten cities in Indonesia to introduce the expo and promote the use of natural rattan.

Indonesia, which has the capacity to produce between 250,000 and 400,000 tons of rattan per year, provides about 85 percent of the world's supply of natural rattan, which is increasingly being replaced by artificial rattan.

ASMINDO chairman Ambar Tjahyono said more and more products, such as lounge and beach chairs, were being made of artificial rattan, which he said was not environmentally friendly and was more expensive than natural rattan.

"We have been actively campaigning for the use of natural rattan both at home and abroad using the slogan 'the real rattan is Indonesia'," he said.

"We hope this expo, along with the campaign, will increase our exports of furniture, including those of rattan, by 8 to 10 percent, from around US$1.8 billion last year to around $2 billion this year," said Sae, adding that furniture exports amounted to $500 million as of the end of June.

In his speech, Minister Fahmi said that he hoped the export value of rattan furniture would reach $3 billion over the next three years, representing an increase of more than 30 percent over the 2006 figure.

To meet this target, he said the Industry Ministry would propose a ban on unprocessed and semi-processed rattan exports so as to increase exports of rattan furniture.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Rp900 Billion for Sidoarjo Infrastructure Repairs

Thursday, 12 July, 2007 | 16:27 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The government has officially proposed the budget for repairing infrastructure ruined by the Lapindo hot mudflows to be Rp900 billion.

The statement was included in the 2007 Revised State Budget Draft and the posts will be the Public Works Department and Transportation Department’s expenditure.

Anggito Abimanyu, Head of Fiscal Policy at Finance Department, explained that such amount of budget was resulted from the estimation of road and railway infrastructure repairs needed.

“Our capability this year is now only Rp900 billion,” he said after a working meeting with the Budget Committee on 2007 Revised State Budget Draft at the Parliament Complex, Jakarta, Tuesday night (11/7).

He acknowledged that actually the need of infrastructure rehabilitation was much higher than Rp900 billion.

“But this is to be discussed later,” said Anggito.

In the 2007 Revised State Budget Draft, he said, for handling the damage due to Lapindo mudflow, the proposal was combined with the Public Works Department’s and Transportation Department’s infrastructure repair program.

The amount of the two departments’ needs totals Rp5 trillion.

The consideration for granting the funds, said Anggito, refers to the aspect of respective regional economic interests.

This is because infrastructure is a vital matter as regards regional economic support.

“For Lapindo (case), this is special for infrastructure. For the others, there’s none,” he said.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the funds for infrastructure rehabilitation due to the Lapindo mudflows is what caused the 2007 budget’s deficit to soar from Rp40.5 trillion, or from 1.1 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to Rp62 trillion or 1.6 percent of GDP.

“Infrastructure repairs in Sidoarjo are very urgent for moving the economy so the allocation must be included in the 2007 Revised State Budget Draft,” she said.

Infrastructure repairs in Sidoarjo include the Porong-Gempol toll road, non-toll artery roads and railways.

Anton Aprianto | Rieka Rahadiana

Jakarta moves on deep-tunnel project

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post) : Governor Sutiyoso briefed Vice President Jusuf Kalla Wednesday over the planned deep tunnel project aimed at resolving chronic water and transportation problems in the capital.

"If the government agrees with the project, we will start construction next year," he told reporters after the meeting.

He said that the 22-kilometer tunnel would also solve flooding in the capital.

"Seeing the many functions of the tunnel, we will push the central government so that the project can be realized," he said.

According to the project designed by the Jakarta Water Supply Regulatory Body, the tunnel, with a diameter of 12 meters, will be built 15 meters below the West Flood Canal from Jl. MT Haryono in East Jakarta to Muara Angke in West Jakarta.

The administration will then construct two levels of roads in the tunnel as well as waste water reservoirs.

Above the roads, the tunnel will be used as a utility duct.

Sutiyoso has briefed members of the House of Representatives and the City Council on the project.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Chinese investor to build $2.5b mine mouth power plan

PALEMBANG (Antara): China's Huadian Hongkong Company Ltd. will build a mine mouth power plant with a capacity of 4x600 MW in South Sumatra at a cost of US$2.5 billion.

The company was in the middle of applying for permits to build the power plant, its director, GeHongwu, said following a meeting with South Sumatra Governor Syahrial Oesman Wednesday.

"We have already secured some of the permits,"Hongwu said without elaborating.

The company would start constructing the powerplant next year, he said.

The first phase of the power plant with a capacity of 2X600 MW would be completed in 2011, he said adding the whole project was scheduled for completion in 2013.

Officials fear project leader postings

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: Dozens of mayors from Indonesia's eastern regions lodged complaints with Vice President Jusuf Kalla on Tuesday over their inability to build infrastructure in their respective mayoralties.

The mayors said this was because only a small portion of officials were willing to be appointed as leaders of infrastructure projects.

"Only a very small number of people are willing to be project leaders ... and as a result, numerous infrastructure projects in the regions have been put on hold," All-Indonesia Association of Mayoralties chairman Jusuf Serang Kasim told a meeting with Kalla at the Vice Presidential Palace.

Jusuf, also mayor of Tarakan in East Kalimantan, said the officials' reluctance to be appointed project leaders was the result of the many police and AGO investigations into government officials over corruption allegations.

"Their reluctance has also been triggered by the current law which allows for the questioning of government officials in the absence of their superiors' approval. Therefore, we propose the establishment of a memorandum between the Home Ministry, the National Police and the AGO that will require the superiors' approval prior to questioning the officials."

UN food program to feed RI kids

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) launched a project Tuesday to support 30,000 Indonesian school-age children in Bogor, West Java, and Madura Island, East Java.

Anthony N. Banbury, WFP regional director for Asia, said Bogor and Madura were selected for the program because both had high malnutrition rates and the WFP already had offices there.

Banbury said the program would work toward alleviating child hunger in several ways. First, by ensuring that children receive fortified snacks every school day through the WFP school feeding program; second, by providing clean water through the construction of over 125 wells and de-worming tablets to ensure that the children absorb all the nutrients from the fortified snacks; and third, by supporting training that promotes hygienic and healthy habits among children.

"We're trying to provide life-changing assistance, life-changing opportunities. That's what the WFP is working on here with the government," he added.

The program will cover 140 schools in Madura and Bogor. The WFP selected the schools according to criteria such as their location in the malnourished areas and willingness to commit to supporting the program.

Dipayan Bhattacharyya from the WFP told The Jakarta Post that one out of three children in Madura and one out of four in Bogor suffer malnutrition.

Dipayan said there are 350 malnourished areas scattered throughout the country.

"This includes East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, some parts of Kalimantan, South Sumatra, parts of North Sumatra, Papua, Riau and South Nias," he said.

Dipayan added that the situation in Bogor is unique because the high rate of malnutrition there persists despite being located near the capital Jakarta.

"In the city of Bogor, the malnutrition rate is nine percent, but in Bogor regency it is 25 percent," he said.

The program is a collaborative effort between the WFP and the U.S. food company Cargill, which will provide US$3 million to fund the program.

Deputy Minister for the People's Welfare Adang Setiana said the Office of the Coordinating Minister for the People's Welfare would act as a supporting unit in the program.

Data gathered by the WFP in 2006 show that about 13 million children in the country suffer from hunger, and 30.2 percent of children under the age of five living in rural areas are underweight.

Banbury said the WFP currently runs two main activities: the school feeding program, which supports school-age children through the provision of fortified biscuits at school, and the health posts (Posyandu) program, which assists mothers and children under the age of five.

Yogya to build rehabilitation center

Sri Wahyuni, The Jakarta Post, Yogyakarta

The provincial administration of Yogyakarta has allocated Rp 30 billion (US$3.30 million) to build a rehabilitation center for survivors of the 2006 earthquake suffering physical handicaps and psychological trauma as a result of the disaster.

Speaking to journalists on the sidelines of a seminar on post-disaster reconstruction here Monday, Yogyakarta provincial secretary Tri Harjun said the center was designed to accommodate some 480 wheelchair-bound survivors and a further 50 people paralyzed by the disaster.

"The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2007," said Tri Harjun, adding that it is hoped the center will enable the earthquake victims to become self-dependent.

With regard to the location of the center, Tri Harjun said the provincial administration had yet to make a final decision on the matter.

"We are still considering a number of alternatives, but most likely it will be built in Bantul regency, simply because most of the handicapped survivors live there," Tri Harjun said.

The provincial secretary also said that in addition to physically handicapped survivors, the center would also accommodate those who were psychologically traumatized by the earthquake.

Yogyakarta's government has asked for assistance from a number of related institutions to help realize the project, including from the school of medicine at the Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University, Dr Sardjito Hospital, the Yakkum rehabilitation center and other parties concerned for the wellbeing of those affected by the disaster.

"We really need their assistance to make this project a success," said Tri Harjun, adding that the aid from the medical institutions would not come as financial support, but rather in the form of equipment, management expertise and ideas.

"We are still in the process of identifying who will support what," he said.

The powerful earthquake that rocked Yogyakarta and parts of Central Java on May 27, 2006, killed nearly 6,000 people and injured over 150,000, some 15,000 of which sustained serious wounds.

Over 500 survivors are permanently handicapped and a further 480 must now use wheelchairs. Fifty others were completely paralyzed and are unable to leave their beds.

The earthquake destroyed over 300,000 homes in both provinces. The overall estimate of losses inflicted by the disaster is US$3.1 billion -- the third largest damage bill in a developing country after the Aceh tsunami, which cost $4.7 billion, and the Izmit earthquake in Turkey, which cost $10.3 billion.

Yogyakarta has received praise for the quick progress it made in rebuilding its damaged houses. In less than a year, nearly 200,000 collapsed homes and 80 percent of the province's educational facilities had been rebuilt.

"We have here some local values that account for the quick recovery. Among others is the ability of the community to accept disasters as a reality and have the awareness to deal with it and not cause desperation," Tri Harjun said.

Booming business at tourism school

The Jakarta Post

DENPASAR: The struggling tourism industry in Bali has not discouraged the island's newest high school graduates from enrolling in vocational schools of tourism.

The Kertayasa vocational school of tourism in Singakerta, Ubud, Gianyar regency, has received applications from 230 new graduates.

The applicants come not only from Gianyar, but also from Badung, Bangli, Klungkung and Karangasem.

The school's head, A.A. Gede Sugiantara, said the number of applicants had increased from last year. He plans to add one more class to the current four.

"Each class will have 48 students. An increase like this happened two years ago," he said.

Indonesia`s PLN says Mitsubishi wins power plant expansion

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia's biggest power producer PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) said Wednesday it has selected Mitsubishi Corp. as the winner of a project to double power generating capacity at its Muara Karang gas-fired power plant.

The project will see generating capacity increase to 720 megawatts.

PLN deputy director Tonny Agus Mulyantono told Thomson Financial the project may cost around 430 million US dollars.

He said Mitsubishi Corp beat out other bidders such as Siemens AG and Mitsui & Co, adding that the Japanese company will co-operate with other businesses for the project including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Sumitomo Corp. and Truba Jurong.

Indonesia and Vietnam to join forces to market pepper

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Vietnam, two of the world's main producers of pepper, are to cooperate in marketing it, an executive of the Indonesian pepper industry said Wednesday.

Mustakim Wijaya, vice-chairman of the Indonesian Pepper Exporters' Association, said producers here and in Vietnam planned to establish a joint committee to focus on marketing, improving quality standards and compiling statistics.

"The Vietnamese side wants the joint committee to be formed before the end of the year, and we are working on this," he was quoted by Thomson Financial as saying.

Together, the two countries produce more than 45 percent of the world's pepper.

Wijaya said the committee would meet annually to discuss the international market.

China and Brazil, two other big producers, have expressed interest in joining the committee and have sent observers to meetings between Indonesian and Vietnamese representatives, including a two-day meeting which finished here Tuesday.

Vietnam has about 33 percent of the world market, Brazil has 15 percent and Indonesia 13 percent.

Mustakim said that world pepper supply remained well below demand, with a shortfall of about 47,500 tonnes estimated for 2007.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

PT PAL begins building four escort tug boats for JGC corporation

Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - National shipyard industry PT PAL Indonesia has received an order to build four escort tug boats for JGC Corporation - a project described by a PT PAL executive as the company`s biggest since 1997.

A function marking the keel-laying of the first of CGJ`s escort tug boats took place PT PAL Indonesia`s dockyard in Surabaya, on Tuesday.

Present on the occasion were representatives of the Tangguh LNG, BP Migas (oil and gas regulating body), the PT PAL Indonesia president director and other people to be involved the vessels` construction.

PT PAL`s managing director on the occasion expressed appreciation to CGJ Corporation for having entrusted PT PAL with the task of building the tug boats.

Therefore, he asked PT PAL personnel to ensure that the vessels would be of high quality and be delivered to CGJ Corporation according to the agreed schedule.

He noted PT PAL Indonesia already had experience in building various kinds of vessels, including off-shore and on-shore equipment.

PT PAL`s project director Husein Soleh on the occasion said CGJ Corporation`s order was PT PAL`s biggest project since the economic crisis in 1997.

A representative of BP Migas, Robert T, said the need for the escort tug boats was a consequence of a deal on the construction of an oil refinery.

Each of CGJ Corporation`s escort tug boats would be 32 meters long and have a maximum operational draft of 5,23 meters.

The first tug boat ordered by the CGJ Corporation would according to plan be delivered in March 2008 or earlier than the original schedule in May 2008 because the first vessel`s keel laying was also done earlier than initially planned.

Airline bans a temporary setback, says official

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The ban on all Indonesian airlines by the European Commission is a temporary setback for the country's aviation sector, but a necessary one should Indonesia wish to improve its air safety record, an official says.

On July 6, the European Commission (EC) banned all Indonesian airlines from flying to Europe due to distrust caused by the country's poor aviation safety record.

"The international public will appreciate our efforts to be open about our airline safety problems," director general for air transportation at the Transportation Ministry, Budhi M. Suyitno, told reporters during a break in a meeting with the House of Representatives Commission V for transportation affairs on Monday.

The EC declared the ban after the government announced the results of an audit of 20 domestic airlines in March. The audit showed that not one domestic airline was in full compliance with safety regulations at that time.

However, a second audit in June found Garuda Indonesia to be fully compliant with international aviation safety regulations.

The Indonesian government said it regretted the EC's decision and that the ban was unfair because the commission did not send a team to clarify the findings or give the Indonesian government a chance to explain its position.

"We are disappointed with this decision. Actually, if the commission had given us a chance to talk about this matter, they would not have banned the Indonesian airlines," Transportation Minister Jusman Syafii Djamal told reporters after the meeting.

He added that his ministry had designed several programs to improve the quality of air transportation, which would include upgrading airport facilities.

The ministry is proposing a Rp 15.5 trillion (US$1.72 billion) budget for 2008, a 50 percent increase from Rp 10.5 trillion, to build better facilities for airports, including air and land infrastructure, flight surveillance radars and flight communication, navigational and landing assistance tools.

Most House members have blamed the ban on the government's decision to announce the results of the airlines' audit to the public, insisting it has "boomeranged" on the Indonesian government.

"It's the government itself who caused this problem," Enggartiasto Lukita from the Golkar Party said.

He said that when it comes to aviation, there can be no compromise on safety standards, and reiterated the House's stance that the government should not have announced the airlines' audit results.

"It is the routine inspection which matters the most," he said.

Sumaryoto from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle said it was the right move for the government to audit the nation's airlines, but not to announce the results.

"The results of the audit should have been used as input for the airlines, the result should not have been made public," he said.

He said the European ban could have both political and economic impacts on Indonesia.

The ban will likely also have an impact on Indonesia's tourism sector, despite there having been no flights linking Indonesia with European Union cities since Garuda canceled services to Amsterdam in 2004.

Between 600,000 and 800,000 European tourists visit the country every year.

Indonesia`s first semester investment up to Rp65.27 trillion

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian government licenced foreign and domestic investment projects worth Rp65.27 trillion in the first semester of 2007, up 52.60 percent from the same period last year, an official said.

"Of the total, Rp36.9 trillion (US$4.1 billion) came from foreign investment and the rest from domestic investment," Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Mohammad Lutfi said in an investment seminar here Tuesday.

The investment in the second semester of 2007 far exceeded the BKPM-set target of Rp41.54 trillion for the period, he said.

The BKPM had set itself the target of attracting domestic investment worth Rp11.58 trillion and foreign investment worth Rp29.96 for the first half of 2007.

Data from the BKPM show paper, paper-related and printing industries topped the list of domestic investment projects with Rp14.16 trillion, followed by metal, machinery and electronic industries, food industries, plantation and construction sectors.

Meanwhile, basic chemical, chemical goods and pharmaceutical industries were listed as the biggest source of foreign investment with US$1.526 billion, followed by paper, paper-related and printing industries, food industries, mining and trade sectors.

West Java remained the biggest recipient of domestic investment with Rp10.353 trillion, while East Java was the most-preferred foreign investment destination with US$1.567 billion.

"The foreign investment mostly came from Britain, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan and South Korea," Lutfi said.

He said the government continued to encourage investment inflows by easing investment policies.

"The government is committed to overcoming unemployment and poverty. One of the efforts is encouraging investment to creare more jobs," he said.

He said the government aimed to attract US$426 billion in investment in 2009 to achieve an economic growth rate of 6.6 percent.

Antam to look for new partner to build alumina smelter in Bintan

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - State-owned mining company PT Aneka Tambang (Antam) has indicated it will seek a new partner to build an alumina smelter on the Bintan island in Riau Island.

Xinfa Alumina from China, which has offered to build the US$250 million project, has put forward conditions not acceptable to Antam, company director Syahriri Ika said Monday. Syahrir said he did not rule out other Chinese investors as a replacement as China represents a big market.

The smelter is scheduled to be operational in 2010 with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons of alumina.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Reaffirming the ten commandments for businesses

Vincent Lingga, The Jakarta Post, Geneva

Business leaders from developing and developed countries have reaffirmed their strong commitments to conducting responsible business practices based on the UN Global Compact's ten principles in human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.

The leaders stated in a declaration at the end of the Global Compact Leaders Summit here Friday, that only through responsible business practices can a more sustainable and inclusive global economy be realized.

The ten principles, which have been promoted by the UN Global Compact initiative since 2000, are in essence the core values of what is now well-known as the "corporate social responsibility" (CSR) concept.

But the basic question is: Are the codes of conduct worth more than the paper they are written on? Will voluntary initiatives such as the Global Compact lead to the types of changes needed to contribute to a cleaner environment, better working conditions, more humanitarian development and the curbing of corruption?

This was one of the toughest questions raised during the summit by the representatives of civil society organizations and business leaders who questioned the reputation of several companies attending the meeting.

However, the Global Compact is not a regulatory instrument. There is no enforcement mechanism beyond public scrutiny and the requirement for participants to report annually on progress in meeting commitments to the ten principles.

Rather, the Global Compact relies on public accountability, transparency and the enlightened self-interest of companies, labor and civil society to initiate and share substantive action in pursuing the ten principles.

Some stakeholders are skeptical.

Whatever goals a company pledges to reach, or standards to obey, such as fair working conditions and the protection of human rights, there must be a specific, practical application. Without this, codes will set only the overall ground rules for corporate conduct.

Critics attack the notion that voluntary codes can serve as a method of corporate accountability because corporations can simply use their participation as a substitute for real progress, distracting the public from the continuing violation of human rights, labor rights or environmental standards.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, who opened the summit, acknowledged these weaknesses, stressing that companies which fail to meet their commitments within two years will be delisted from the UN Global Compact.

In fact, according to Global Compact Executive Director Georg Kell, 335 companies were delisted from the network last year for failing to report significant progress in implementing the ten principles.

Business executives, however, who have been observing the impact of the CSR campaign as the concerted effort, have kept a spotlight on undesirable practices. At various times, companies have stopped doing business with overseas contractors who disregarded standards.

Often companies lead the way to improvement. For example, a decision by Reebok not to sell soccer balls made through child labor practices was swiftly followed by similar commitments from other companies. This happened despite the (short-term) costs such commitments entailed.

"Our foreign buyers have always scrutinized our operations to ascertain whether our pulp and paper are derived from sustainable plantations," said A. J. Devanesan, president of Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL), which operates a two-million ton capacity pulp industry in Riau.

In fact, pulp which is certified as sourced from sustainable managed forests or plantations commands higher prices than uncertified product, added Devanesan, who attended the summit meeting.

The summit urged the Global Compact's 4,000 members to encourage their supply-chain partners and other organizations they do business with to integrate the core values of human rights, environment, labor and anti-corruption into their operations.

Good corporate practices bring commercial benefits too. They help firms achieve a variety of goals: Protect their corporate reputation, improve employee morale, enhance consumer and client loyalty, and avoid costly criminal and civil proceedings.

Even mainstream investors are now paying more attention.

Recent studies by McKinsey & Company consultants conclude that while the capital markets have not yet mainstreamed environmental, social and good governance norms, there have been many investor initiatives which encourage socially responsible, ethically right and environmentally friendly investment.

The consulting company estimated there are now more than US$8 trillion investment funds managed by firms which factor environmental, social and governance issues into their investment analyses and decision-making processes.

So, while some stakeholders feel many companies just pay lip service to standards, these codes do in fact have bite. Companies who do not practice what they pledge risk adverse publicity and customer loss, even black-listing.

Related Article : China executes the former head of its food and drug agency

Charities bring free education to Bogor village

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor

Three philanthropic groups have set up a free school in a village on the outskirts of Bogor, making it easier for village children to remain in school.

The three groups -- Soekarseno Peduli Foundation, High Desert International Foundation (HDI) and Jakarta Menteng Rotary Club -- officially opened junior high school SMP Pangerasan in Cijeruk on Saturday.

The school has already enrolled 60 new elementary school graduates.

Previously, the nearest junior high school was located about five kilometers from the village.

Because there is no public transportation in the area, children had to walk through rice fields and a bamboo forest to reach the school.

"I was going to enroll in SMP PGRI 17, in the center of Cijeruk district, but my elementary school teacher enrolled me here, so it won't cost so much for my parents (for school fees and transportation cost)," said 13-year-old Herni Mariani.

The three organizations spent Rp 425 million in setting up the school.

Rotary Club Bogor will also help provide textbooks for students.

"I know how difficult it is for the government to set up a good school and provide quality teachers. It cannot work alone, that is why we will help build some 1,000 schools nationwide," HDI chairman Peter Chia said.

HDI is already working with Soekarseno Peduli Foundation on plans to build a vocational high school in the village.

The vocational school would be located in the same complex as the junior high school, helping students complete secondary school.

Soekarseno Peduli Foundation previously helped renovate nine elementary schools in Cijeruk district.

"Only 10 students from those nine schools were able to attend the junior high school located in the middle of the district," foundation chairwoman Herdiana Kiehl said.

"That's why we felt it necessary to bring education closer to them," she said.

The foundation has selected 10 top students from neighboring elementary schools and will cover all of their education expenses to attend the new junior high school.

Jakarta Menteng Rotary Club president Peter Fanning said his organization also would help provide electricity for villagers.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

SIS students to plant 1,000 trees

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The Singapore International School in Jakarta is preparing for an environmental project for its students as part of the school's co-curricular activities (CCA).

The program is designed to broaden the knowledge and expertise of the students, especially in environment conservation.

"The preparation is still in progress. We will complete the project, hopefully in September," project advisor John Christian Torr told The Jakarta Post.

His team, he says, is now working on preparation through a series of meetings and discussion with parties involved including French nongovernmental organization Action Contre La Famme.

The project, called A Thousand Trees, was inspired by the well known story of Sadako Sasaki, a young Japanese girl who, while lying sick and dying in hospital, folded a thousand paper cranes (birds) with a hope she could get well.

She continued to fold cranes in her hospital bed until the day she died in a hope that she might also heal the whole world, according to a release from Singapore International School.

School principal Chris Lasdauskas said the children participating in the A Thousand Trees project plan to planting 1,000 trees and other plants in Penjaringan, North Jakarta.

The area was chosen because it represents urban and industrial areas that are in need of greening, especially after flooding and subsequent land erosion.

The children plan to work hand in hand with the French NGO, which will provide the necessary support and expertise, as well as with Penjaringan residents.

"With this synergy, this coming together of different communities with a common purpose, we all hope that this project is a successful one," Lasdauskas said in a press release.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

French to help with city database

The Jakarta Post

JAKARTA: The French government has recently confirmed it would help Jakarta set up a public service database for the city's crisis center, a city official said.

The database is planned to be an online system collating recorded data from all city public service agencies in one place.

"With this system... all public service data (in Jakarta) will be connected to our crisis center," Jakarta public order agency head Harianto Badjoeri said Friday.

The online system would allow the city to better manage evacuation and rescue efforts during emergencies, he said.

"For example, if a flood occurs, we will be able to quickly identify how many beds are available in hospitals or whether there will be enough food stockpiled for the victims," he said.

Aside from providing the hardware, the French government would also provide training for system operators.

"The new system would require some 25 operators at the center, while currently we only have 10 people," he said.

The French government has already installed a similar system in Aceh.

371,142 gas stove will be distributed to poor families

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - As of July 9, 2007, at least 371,142 gas stoves along with their gas containers will be distributed free of charge to poor families, the launching of which will be opened by Cooperatives, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Minister Suryadharma Ali.

Speaking in a press conference here on Friday, Production Dputy of the Cooperatives, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) Ministry Muzni HA Djalil said the launching of the gas stoves to poor families would be held in Cibodar village, Cibodas sub-district, Tangerang City, Banten Province.

The launching was part of the distribution program which will be followed in other regions of Jakarta, West Java and Banten.

PT. Bimadaya Inti Dinamika won the tender for gas stoves and gas containers distribution, including a census of poor families living in North and East Jakarta, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi.

The government has entrusted the supply of around 371,142 gas stoves to poor families to the Cooperative and SMEs Ministy which is expeced to help prevent poor families from depending on kerosene.

PT. Bimadaya Inti Dinamika was given 90 days to distribute the stoves to the eligible poor families.

If based on the result of the census of prospective recipients, the allocation could not yet be met, it will be rearranged so that the recipients really deserved the gas stoves.

According to Muzni, the poor families however had to meet some requirements, firstly the prospective families should be kerosene consumers, and do not have gas stoves. The second requirement is that they have an ID card and family card issued by their neighborhood auhorities.

The third, they should be ready to switch from kerosene to gas, and the fourth is that they must also be ready to maintain the gas stoves, and not transfer them to other people, and the last requirement is that one poor family is entitled to only one gas stove.

Moreover, Muzni further explained that the success of the program depends on the assistance and active role of the local government up to village level in determining prospective recipients.

It was reported that the tender for the supply of 371.142 gas stoves was worth Rp38,784,339,000, while the cost the government has to bear for the census and distribution of gas stoves and gas containers was estimated at Rp6,976,126,000.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Carbon credit boom in the offing for Indonesian firms

Andi Haswidi, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Companies in developing countries engaging in carbon credit sales are likely to increase their earnings significantly this year as the global value of the market, which reached about US$30 billion in 2006, is expected to double, an analyst says.

"The market value of carbon credits is likely to again increase in very, very significant percentages. It could be double again," Jotdeep Singh, Rabo India Finance's head for renewable energy and carbon credits in Asia Pacific, told The Jakarta Post.

Rabo India Finance is a subsidiary of Rabobank International.

Singh said that as carbon credit trading itself only commenced in October 2005 following the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, more countries had been entering the market recently.

"You have a few countries that have taken the lead in terms of volumes and projects, such as China and India. Therefore, Indonesia does not want to be left behind. More and more companies need to find this out, what the opportunities are for them."

What is of concern to developing countries, like Indonesia, Jotdeep said, is how to promote the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).

The CDM is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol allowing industrialized countries, also called the Annex 1 countries who signed quantitative limits to their gas emissions, to buy carbon credits from other countries -- mostly developing countries -- who did not sign up to poverty reduction goals under the Protocol.

Last year, CDM projects contributed about $5 billion to the total world market value, and is also expected to double this year.

"These non-Annex 1 countries still have the challenge of addressing poverty. That is why they were exempted from taking on emission reduction targets, because it was seen that the targets could harm their economic growth and therefore their poverty reduction efforts."

With that advantage in hand, companies in developing countries can reduce their gas emissions and obtain carbon credit certificates, called Certified Emission Rights (CERs), from the United Nations, which can later be traded.

A one-ton carbon dioxide reduction is estimated to be worth $13.

So far, Indonesia has only registered nine CDM projects, which delivered over one million tons of CO2 reductions. Another nine are still in the pipeline, Jotdeep said.

Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) chairman Muhammad Hidayat admitted that the participation of local companies in mechanism was still as most businesses still had little idea of what it was all about.

"Indonesia has a big potential. I have received offers from Northern European countries that want to trade carbon credits with Indonesian companies. I've also met the Norwegian prime minister, who wanted to discuss a couple of projects, with one of them located in Bali," Hidayat said.

Companies planning to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions should prepare a document outlining their plans and hire a consultant to prepare a carbon credit proposal for submission to the UN. These proposals are known as Project Design Documents (PDD), which must be validated by UN Designated Operating Entities (DOEs).

Consultation and validation combined can cost from $30,000 to $50,000, Jotdeep said.

Those firms that cannot afford consultancy or validation can avail of the Verified Emission Reduction (VER) mechanism, which also involves a form of tradable credits, but which entails a lower cost compared to the CER.