“ … 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, January 31, 2008

Unicef presents three school buildings to Aceh

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - The United Nations Children`s Fund (Unicef) presented three school buildings to the Aceh authorities on Wednesday and Thursday.

The new buildngs were to house the Dayah Baro Islamic school, the Alue elementary school in Krueng Sabee sub district, and the Patek elementary school in Sampoinet sub district.

The head of Unicef`s Meulaboh office, Praful Soni, symbolically handed the school buildings to H. T. Rusdi of the Aceh Jaya district administration.

Unicef had planned to build a total of 346 school buildings in Aceh and Nias Island which were devastated by a 8.9-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami in December 2004.

Up to January 30, 2008, Unicef had constructed 30 school buildings, including 15 in Aceh Jaya district, 10 in Aceh Barat district, and 5 in Nagan Raya district.

RI, S`pore air forces agree to improve flight safety

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Air Force and the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) have agreed to cooperate in improving flight and occupational safety.

"Flight and occupational safety is a main factor that must frequently be underlined and implemented. Therefore, it is important to cooperate in improving flight safety," Head of the Air Force Headquarters` Information Service Marshal Daryatmo said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Head of the Flight and Occupational Safety Division at the TNI AU Headquarters Air Commodore Rodi Suprasodjo said to achieve zero accident the TNI AU had adopted a road map to zero accident since some time ago.

He said the road map to zero accident covered safety in each operational unit, "go and no go items" in the military`s main armament, improvement of human resources, streamlining of the types of planes and accident investigation.

He said the Singaporean and Australian Air Forces needed 15 years and 20 years each to achieve zero accident.

"By applying the road map to zero accident and learning lessons from the two countries, the TNI AU expects it could achieve zero accident in five years` time," he said.

He said the Indonesian Air Force and the RSAF held a meeting at the former`s headquarters in Cilangkap, East Jakarta, on Wednesday to discuss cooperation in the areas of Joint Air Force Training Working Group (JAFTWG) and flight and occupational safety.

Indonesia, Australia to cooperate on improving transportation safety

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The governments of Indonesia and Australia signed a landmark agreement to work together to improve Indonesia`s transportation safety, Australian Embassy media release has said.

On the occasion, Australian Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said his country placed great importance on close relationship with Indonesia and the agreements, singed on Thursday, would broaden the levels of co-operation to the benefit of both countries.

"I am honored to be able to visit Indonesia so early in my term as Minister to work towards building on that relationship," Albanese said, adding that Indonesian Minister for Transportation, Jusman Syafi`i Djamal, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation in the Transport Sector during a ceremony in Jakarta.

The Memorandum of Understanding provides the basis for expanding the existing co-operative relationship between Australia and Indonesia.

The Ministers also signed an Annex to the Memorandum of Understanding, establishing the terms for a bilateral package of assistance on transport safety.

Albanese noted the key role of transport to economic growth and development in the region and emphasized it was vital that the transport systems were safe, efficient and secure.

"It is essential the traveling public of both countries have confidence that transport safety is a priority and that lessons from previous transport accidents are being acted upon," said Albanese.

"Australia`s assistance will complement the substantial efforts that the Government of the Republic of Indonesia has already taken to improve the safety of their transport services," he added.

Under the agreement Australia will provide almost Rp 200 billion [$24 million] over three years for a package of training and technical assistance, helping to improve Indonesian transport safety.

"Australia has worked closely with the Government of Indonesia to develop a package of measures to address areas identified by Indonesia as its key safety priorities," said Albanese.

He indicated that projects to be undertaken as part of the assistance package would include: Training of up to 40 Indonesian airworthiness inspectors per year to international standards for the duration of the package; Mentoring and training in air traffic management services; Provision of expertise and guidance on transport safety investigations to enhance Indonesia`s capacity to undertake investigations of transport accidents; and Transfer of technical knowledge and expertise to Indonesian Search and Rescue Operators, ferry operators and maritime vehicle inspection staff.

"Australia`s Rp 200 billion [$24 million] safety assistance package paves the way for even greater goodwill and cooperation between Australia and Indonesia on a range of future transport issues," Albanese said.

Antara to go international

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post) : National news agency Antara announced Wednesday plans to go international this year, joining the ranks of the world's established news agencies.

"We aim to achieve our new vision to become one of the best world-class news agencies in the Asia Pacific, to create a knowledge-based society," Ahmad Mukhlis Yusuf, Antara president director, said during a ceremony.

Ahmad said President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono first proposed the idea two years ago.

"We have developed our work values, which will be implemented in our recruitment system, quality management system, quality assessment system and other human or organizational development systems in order to change our organization's work culture within the next five years," he said.

Antara currently has 33 bureaus across the country, plus several representatives abroad.

Antara holds the presidency of the Asia-Pacific News Agency (OANA) for the 2007-2010 period, after having replaced Malaysian news agency Bernama.

Govt bans import of 2 ozone foes

Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

The government has banned imports of two ozone depleting chemicals -- chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and methyl bromide (CH3Br) for non-quarantine and pre-shipment use -- starting this month, much earlier than the deadlines set by the international treaty on ozone layer protection.

Indonesia, a party to the Montreal Protocol on ozone-layer protection, has the mandate to stop the use of CFCs by 2010 and methyl bromide by 2015.

"We decided to accelerate the phase-out schedule since many of our industrial players have shifted to ozone-friendly substances," State Environment Ministry ozone unit head Tri Widayati told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

The ban has made Indonesia one of first few countries in the region to beat the deadline.

Chlorofluorocarbons are commonly used as refrigerants, cleaning solvents, in aerosol sprays and as a blowing agent for plastic foam. While methyl bromide is fumigant used to kill soil-borne pests and diseases in crops prior to planting, and as a disinfectant in commodities like stored grains or commodities awaiting expert.

Tri said many food-related business currently used more ozone-safe substances like Phosphine.

"The state-owned logistics agency (Bulog) previously used large amounts of methyl bromide at their warehouses but have replaced it with Phosphine since several years ago," she said.

She said business players could promote good housekeeping in their warehouse by avoiding the use of chemical-based products, including Phosphine.

"We still allow imports of methyl bromide for quarantine and pre-shipment use because there are no alternatives on the market yet," she said.

Tri said alternatives for CFCs are ready in local markets, namely Hydrocarbons (HCs), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The HCFCs cause no damage to the ozone layer but have a high global warming potential.

Indonesia imports all ozone depleting substances from China, Belgium and India, except for Hydrocarbon that is produced locally by the state-owned oil and gas company, Pertamina.

Many have remain reluctant to use HCs as a refrigerant for safety reasons.

China, the world's largest producer of the CFCs and halon, shut down five of its six remaining plants last year.

The remaining production of some 500 metric tons per year is being kept strictly for the production of CFCs for metered-dose inhaler used in the treatment of asthma and chronic constructive pulmonary disease.

The government said earlier that illegal imports of ozone-depleting substances remained high in Indonesia, due to the sharp disparity prices with the ozone friendly substances.

"We made it a priority to provide training for Customs officers about ozone-depleting chemicals," Tri said.

Data from the ministry shows that national consumption of CFCs has dropped from 9,000 metric tons in 1996 to 2,000 metric tons in 2005, while consumption of methyl bromide has dropped from 140 metric tons in 1994 to 32 metric tons in 2005.

Tri said the government would require importers to label imported methyl bromide for pre-shipment.

Indonesia has also banned imports of halon, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride except for laboratory use, since 1998.

Halon is mainly used in fire protection applications while carbon chloroform and carbon tetrachloride were used among others as industrial solvents for cleaning and inks.

PLN signs $615m loan deals, workers continue rally

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

As thousands of its workers were staging a rally opposing a restructuring plan, state electricity firm PT PLN signed Wednesday a loan agreement worth US$615 million with China Exim Bank to finance the construction of two power plants in Java.

Under the agreement, the bank will provide loans of $330.8 million for the 600-megawatt (MW) Suralaya coal-fired power plant in Banten, and $284 million for the 600-MW Paiton coal-fired power plant in East Java.

The loans will be insured by Sinosure, the Chinese Export Credit Agency, and backed by a full guarantee by the Indonesian Finance Ministry. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who witnessed the signing, said the government viewed China as "an important supplier and, increasingly, as an important financier for (coal-fired plant) projects".

The government is continuing to implement its 10,000 MW crash program, an aggressive infrastructure development which is expected to provide Indonesia with additional power supply from 35 new coal-fired power plants. Most of the projects are scheduled to come online in 2009 and 2010 and have named Chinese companies as the contractors.

With Wednesday's signing, PLN has secured 23 percent of the total funds needed to finance the projects. PLN has now secured funding for five power plant projects -- the 300-MW Labuan power plant in Banten, the 900-MW Indramayu power plant in West Java, the 600-MW Rembang power plant in Central Java, and the financing for Suralaya and Paiton, which is covered by the current loan agreement.

PLN will need another Rp 61 trillion ($6.5 billion) in loans to complete its ambitious agenda. The total cost of the 10,000 MW crash program will be $8.3 billion (not $4.8 billion as reported earlier).

Also Wednesday, thousands of PLN workers staged a rally outside the State Palace rejecting the results of the company's shareholders meeting on Jan. 8. Shareholders are resolving to spin off two subsidiaries, PT Indonesia Power and PT PJB. The proposed plan is in line with the government's restructuring plan for the state electricity provider.

The restructuring plan was initially proposed by the State Ministry for State Enterprises. It aims to improve the performance of the two units, possibly paving the way for privatization. The PLN union objects to any privatization.

"The PLN labor union rejects the decision of the shareholders' meeting, which clearly harms the people's interests and has the potential of threatening the integrity of the country," the union chief, Ahmad Daryoko, said. "The decision to separate the business units of power supply, transmission and distribution from one another will only make power tariffs more costly."

Commenting on the rally, PLN president director Eddie Widiono said the management regarded the rally as a form of expression for employees, showing that they care about the firm's future. PLN's management and board of directors will recognize the workers input.

He gave assurances that the rally would not result in blackouts, adding also that he would conduct an internal coordination within the management to clear up the current misunderstanding. Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said the workers actions must not cause blackouts as it would disrupt the nation's activities.

Malindo to offer Rp300b in bonds

JAKARTA (Jakarta Post) : Publicly listed poultry company PT Malindo Feedmill plans to offer Rp 300 billion (US$31.9 million) in bonds later this month with a maturity of five years.

"We offer a competitive interest rate of between 10.8 and 11.8 percent, and interest will be paid on a three-monthly basis," Commissioner Tan Lai Kai said Wednesday.

He said the majority of proceeds, some 48 percent, would be used for the acquisition of PT Leong Ayamsatu Primadona, while 34 percent would go toward business expansion, and the remainder into the company's working capital.

Siwiwardhani, senior vice president of debt capital market at PT CIMB-GK Securities which would underwrites the sale, said the book building period would take place between Jan. 30 and Feb. 13.

Built in 1997, Malindo Feedmill's main business is in the production and marketing of poultry feed, breeding, and distribution of one-day old chickens.

RI offers 'high investment return'

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia ranked fourth in countries with the highest return on equity in 2007 and is likely to perform better this year in line with other investment possibilities in Asia, Deutsche Bank said Wednesday.

The return on equity investment in the country averaged 54.1 percent thanks to the economy that grew by 6.3 percent last year, Deutsche Bank chief investment officer Chew Soon Gek told reporters in Jakarta.

"Indonesia's position comes after the China free area in third place with 66.2 percent, India in second place with 73.1 percent and China's domestic market at 96.6 percent," she said, citing reports from Bloomberg.

The equity returns in Indonesia, she said, were apparently higher than its "strong" regional counterparts such as Singapore with 28.3 percent and Japan with minus 4.1 percent.

The Asia region as a whole, excluding Japan, gave an average return of 40.5 percent, far above Europe with 14.4 percent.

Chew also said Asia would not be affected by the U.S.-led subprime mortgage crisis as the region now included emerging economies that helped to stabilize the global supply-demand chain, particularly China.

"We are positive the Asia equity market will promise better returns because their economies are improving and not much affected by the U.S. economic subprime crisis," she said

For this year, she recommended investments in agribusiness commodity futures, particularly those in soybean, corn and wheat.

"The improvement of the economic condition in Asia helped to improve people's purchasing power. This led to the higher demands for foods with high proteins. Thus, an increase of prices," she said.

For conservative investors with high yield expectations, she recommended gold and hedge funds -- an instrument to protect investment capital from inflation, global economic turmoil and the weakening of the U.S. dollar.

"The gold prices will likely hike up to US$1,000 per troy ounce in this twelve-month (period). That is why it's still profitable like it was last year," she said.

Last year, gold saw 31.4 percent in returns and international current prices stand at around $923 per troy ounce.

Chew said she recommended global investors put 20 percent of their capital in hedge funds to make sure all of their investment didn't slump if stock markets went down.

"Hedge fund returns are attractive and remain stable due to its favorable diversification," she said. (ind)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

SMBs to drive Indonesia ICT spend

By Lynn Tan, ZDNet Asia, Monday, January 28 2008 08:21 PM

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) in Indonesia are projected to spend about US$7.2 billion on infocomm technologies (ICT) in 2008, according to a new market report.

In its study released Monday, AMI-Partners said Indonesian SMBs are projected to grow their ICT expenditure by some 11.2 percent over last year, fueled by a boom in the overall economy and a surge in the number of small-sized businesses.

Prasannavadan Gaitonde, a Singapore-based research manager at AMI-Partners, said in a statement: "In Indonesia, more than 99 percent of SMBs are [small-sized businesses], and they account for about 78 percent of the total ICT spend."

Gaitonde noted that approximately 80 percent of these small-sized businesses--defined as having fewer than 100 employees--are startups, or are staffed with between one and four employees. He added that these companies will account for 50 percent of the overall small-sized business expenditure in 2008.

According to AMI-Partners, Indonesia has a "young and dynamic" business environment. The average age of business owners and managers is 33 years, and over 66 percent of these professionals have a graduate degree or higher education qualifications.

Gaitonde said this pool of young decision makers, along with a burgeoning domestic demand, has resulted in a "positive" environment with over 40 percent of SMBs expecting growth of between 15 percent and 20 percent in 2008.

"This optimism is also prodding more SMBs to consider hiring more people, [and] that will help relieve pressure on an otherwise high unemployment rate in Indonesia," he said. "The wage pressures are expected to remain flat through 2008."

Growth potential is also encouraging Indonesian SMBs to increase branch locations, where over 25 percent plan to add one to two branches this year, AMI-Partners noted.

As such, connectivity between branch offices and remote locations will be a top priority for SMB IT decision makers this year, the research house said. It added that the highest growth is expected in data security deployments at 33 percent, followed by data storage at 26 percent and Internet-related implementations at 24 percent.

Gaitonde said Indonesian SMBs will depend more on the Internet in 2008, adding that this increase in online usage will prod more SMBs to invest in basic security tools.

Mobility is another "hot" area because Indonesian SMBs are at the "cusp" of broader adoption of mobility-enabled devices, AMI-Partners said, driven by a desire to improve productivity of their mobile workforce.

For instance, the awareness of WiMax in Indonesia is "very high" and uptake of the technology could accelerate rapidly if the "right" products are offered at the "right" price points, AMI-Partners said.

The analyst company added that VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and IP telephony tools are still "attractive" alternatives to reduce calling costs.

"Indonesian SMBs expect telecom service providers to play a stronger role in offering them various bundled solutions especially for voice-related services, [and] it is important that service providers rise to fulfill this need of a growing market," Gaitonde said.

Lynn Tan is a freelance IT writer based in Singapore.

Govt to launch book on macro indicators of Indonesia`s ICT

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government will soon launch a book on macro indicators of the county`s information and communication technology (ICT), an official said.

"Communication and Information Minister Muhammad Nuh will launch the book on the ICT macro indicators on the occasion of a seminar on Indonesia Outlook 2008 on Thursday (Jan 31)," Achmad Jazidie of the Center for Technology and Industry Policies said on Thursday.

He said the ICT macro indicators would hopefully encourage stakeholders, along with the government, to make positive contributions to the development of the ICT sector in the country.

Meanwhile, Abdullah Alkaff, assistant to the communication and information minister, said the idea of writing the book came from Muhammad Nuh to give complete and accurate information on the conditions of the country`s information and communication technology.

The government hoped the launching of the book would attract investors to the country, improve productivity and bolster the nation`s optimism, he said.

"Investors will be willing to invest if the ICT of a country is good. ICT is related to many factors and one of them is productivity. If the ICT of a country is good, its productivity will be high and investment will increase," he said.

IT training provided to alleviate poverty

Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Surabaya

In its efforts to alleviate poverty, the Surabaya municipality is providing multimedia training to the urban poor.

Surabaya Vice Mayor Arif Affandi said Surabaya would become a multimedia hub in the near future, thanks to the presence of a number of free Internet facilities in various districts of the city.

"We are setting them up now," Arif told The Jakarta Post.

Arif said public services in the city had considerably improved thanks to an integrated one-stop system. He said a businessman, for example, no longer needed worry about of the long license issuance.

"More and more businessmen are investing in Surabaya thanks to the privileges. It will automatically boost the employment rate," he said.

Arif said the general public had also been introduced to information and communication technology, citing as an example the 2.7 million residents in Surabaya who held their own e-mail address, which would later be included on their identity cards.

The municipality and the private sector currently are training low-income people to become more familiar with information technology.

Surabaya Manpower Office head Ahmad Syafi'i said his office received help from private education institutions to provide training.

"The more institutions provide education to residents, the better the city can cope with the unemployment problem.

Alleviating poverty requires attention from every party, especially the private sector," he said.

A resident in Wonorejo subdistrict in Rungkut district, Tutik Sulastri, 37, looked confused when operating the computer during a training session. She sat still while holding the mouse, waiting for the instructor.

"I'm used to hearing a lot of computer and Internet terms on television and in newspapers, and seeing computers in electronic shops, but I've never touched a computer before, much less operated one," she told the Post.

Tutik, a junior high school graduate, was a member of one of the 1,610 poor families in Rungkut district. She joined the training program organized by the Information and Technical Computer Management Institute (STIKOM) in Surabaya, provided for free to the needy for a year.

Tutik, whose previous work as a factory worker earned her Rp 500,000 (approximately US$55.50) a month, hoped she could get a better job after completing the course.

Tutik had recently been offered a job with a monthly salary of Rp 800,000, but on the condition she could master the computer.

"I initially intended to take a computer course before I joined this program, but the fee was too expensive for me," she said.

"I'm tired of living a poor life, so I'll try hard to learn the skills provided for free so I can improve my family's economic condition," said Tutik, whose family relies on her husband's work as a menial laborer that earns him less than Rp 1 million a month.

STIKOM also provides free training on electronics and electrical repair, silk-screen printing, food catering, batik and handicraft making.

Ahmad, 25, was one of the 91,158 unemployed youths in Surabaya. He also took the electronics training program in hopes of getting a job after the course.

A junior high graduate, Ahmad had no means of continuing his studies at a vocational school or taking a course in electronics.

"I am very grateful to have joined the program for free," he said.

STIKOM's community service division head Rudy Setiawan said his academy would apply the tutor-to-student guidance approach.

"We will also give rewards in the form of tool kits and technical devices to those who excel in the training and who are never absent from classes," he said.

Rudy said the academy would continue to develop the program and extend it to those in need in Surabaya in the future.

New sorting system for Bekasi dump

The Jakarta Post, Bekasi

The Bekasi municipal administration plans to install a garbage sorting mechanism at the Sumur Batu dump, which is expected to reduce garbage by at least 25 tons per day.

The project, to be completed in conjunction with the Public Works Ministry, is scheduled to start by the end of February, said Abdul Malik, the head of the waste and sanitation division at the Bekasi Sanitation, Parks and Cemetery Agency, on Tuesday.

"We want people to make use of recyclable garbage. We expect to cut down on garbage by at least 25 tons per day through this project. If the project works, we will apply the same method at other dumps," Abdul told The Jakarta Post.

The machine, which will use a conveyor belt, will be funded by the ministry at a cost of Rp 1.5 billion, said Susmono, the director of residential sanitation at the Public Works Ministry.

However, he added that the administration would be required to build a Rp 450 million storage area to house the machine.

The Bekasi administration manages several dumps, including the Bantargebang, Sumur Batu and Leuwigajah dumps. The 11-hectare Sumur Batu dump receives approximately 1,500 tons of garbage from Bekasi per day, while the 108-hectare Bantargebang dump receives around 6,000 tons of garbage from Jakarta.

An open dumping system is used at the dumps, which causes various environmental and health problems.

The dumps are havens for scavengers who are able to make a living sorting through garbage. However, no safety regulations are in place to protect the scavengers. In September 2006, three scavengers died at the Bantargebang dump site after a mountain of trash collapsed on them.

Susmono said the administration decided to develop a garbage sorting system after the accident.

He said his office initially offered the system to the Jakarta administration for the Bantargebang dump site. However, Jakarta turned down the proposal as it did not want to spend money on storage facilities, Susmono said.

"The main aim of the project is to humanize scavengers. They should have a safe and healthy place to work in. We will recruit 40 scavengers for the pilot project," he said.

Bagong Suyoto from the Indonesian Environmental Forum (Walhi) said he supported the project but called for better garbage processing systems to be introduced.

"After scavengers collect the non-organic garbage, the organic garbage could be turned into fertilizer and the rest could be disposed of properly," he said.

Abdul said the project was expected to reduce operational costs and extend the life of the dump. He said it would also give garbage an economical value.

"The Bekasi administration spends Rp 8 billion per year managing garbage, with Rp 3.5 billion spent on the Sumur Batu dump alone," he added.

Abdul said the administration planned to familiarize the public with the project.

He said the administration would also involve neighborhood unit heads and other prominent figures in efforts to secure the area. (tif)

Bumi aims to acquire more shares in Herald Resources

Ika Krismantari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Bumi Resources, the country's largest coal producer, will buy at least 31.3 percent shares of Australian-based lead and zinc miner Herald Resources next month -- a move that would see it become a majority shareholder.

Bumi corporate secretary Dileep Srivastava told reporters on Tuesday an extraordinary shareholder meeting held earlier that day had given approval for the management to acquire Herald and to start bidding at A$2.25 (about US$1.98) per share.

"The Australian regulator has already approved it and we have to wait until Feb. 15 for the Herald shareholders' response to our offer," he said.

Should Herald shareholders approve it, Bumi expects to increase its ownership in the Australian company from an existing 19.7 percent to 51 percent.

Srivastava said Bumi had been considering acquiring more of Herald's share and its bid for the company was valid up to 100 percent.

"We have seen great prospects for lead in the future, as it is the important component in the auto industry," he said.

"We have also been aiming to diversify our portfolio business, not only in coal, but also other commodities, including gold, copper and iron ore."

He said the company had secured loans worth $375 million from Switzerland-based lender Credit Suisse to finance the company's acquisition plans.

It has been reported Bumi has a number of acquisition plans in several mining projects, including an iron ore mining project in Mauritania.

Aside from the target to expand its operation, Bumi aims to reach a historic volume production of 100 million tons of coal in 2011.

Bumi last year produced 56 million tons and is targeted to produce up to 65 million tons in 2008, Srivastava said.

He said the company would spend $210 million in capital expenditure this year, double its production, and would spend $100 million every year until 2010 to upgrade its production facility.

Bumi is estimated to have recorded $800 million in net profits last year, almost quadruple from $222 million in 2006, on the back of surging coal prices and higher demand from India and China.

Consortium to tender Palapa Ring network procurement

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A consortium commissioned to develop the Palapa Ring fiber-optic network expects to launch bidding registration February for the project's procurement, an official says.

"We are about to finish the terms and conditions for the procurement and are hoping to invite bidders mid February," consortium spokesperson Rakhmat Junaidi said here on Tuesday.

He said the consortium management committee hoped to determine the winners by May at the latest, giving them time to conduct feasibility studies before beginning construction in the third quarter of this year.

The Palapa Ring is an ambitious project which aims to link Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Nusa Tenggara, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua and eight existing network connections or backhauls through an estimated total 35,280 kilometers of undersea and 21,870 kilometers of underground fiber-optic cable.

The bidding is expected to only cover the construction of 9,345 kilometers of undersea and 857 kilometers of underground fiber-optic cables in the eastern part of the archipelago.

"We expect to finish the construction of the eastern section in 2011," he said.

First announced to the general public in January 2005 during the first Indonesia Infrastructure Summit in Jakarta, the project is part of the government's program to increase telecommunication penetration throughout Indonesia -- presently reaching only 20 percent of the population.

The consortium, established Nov. 10, includes PT Telkom, PT Indosat, PT Exelcomindo Pratama, PT Bakrie Telecom, PT Infokom Elektrindo and PT Powertek Utama Internusa.

Under an agreement with the government, the consortium were commissioned to finance the construction of the project in the eastern part of the archipelago, with an estimated project cost of around US$225.037 million.

Rakhmat said the six members were ready to secure their own budgets to finance the project, of which 40 percent should come from the state telecommunication company, Telkom.

Telkom vice president for public and marketing communications Eddy Kurnia said earlier that the project would give a strategic value to the company and its subsidiaries, because it laid down important infrastructure to strengthen telecommunication services in the eastern part of Indonesia.

The development of the fiber-optic network in Western Indonesia has been sporadic because telecommunication operators and institutions have not integrated their networks, resulting in higher costs for telecommunications including the Internet access.

Through the Palapa Ring project, the government expects to integrate the fiber-optic network in Western Indonesia with the project in Eastern Indonesia so that the interconnecting networks span from Sumatra to Papua. (ind)

Indonesia`s PLN to pick coal suppliers for power plants

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - State electricity company PLN said it will open a tender this week to select coal suppliers for part of its coal-fired power plants under a crash program.

Under the crash program, PLN is to build coal-fired power plants with a total capacity of 10,000 megawatts to be completed before 2010 to avert possible crisis in power supply. The tender will select suppliers for 11 million tons a year.

Fahmi A. Mochtar, primary energy and power generating director, said PLN needs suppliers for low calorie coal among domestic producers.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Industry minister commissions NaSDEC building in Surabaya

Surabaya (ANTARA News) - Industry Minister Fahmi Idris commissioned ae National Ship Design and Engineering Center (NaSDEC) Building at the Surabaya Sepuluh November Institute of Technology (ITS) campus here on Tuesday.

The center was built on a 2,200-square-meter plot of land and comprised hardware and software facilities that had cost a total of Rp7 billion.

Present at the commissioning ceremony were among others Industry Ministry , Transportation Ministry and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry officials, and national shipping and shipyard business people

NaSDEC is a new institute which was built from 2004 to 2005 under a cooperation scheme between the Industry Ministry and ITS following the issuance of Presidential Instruction No 5/2005 on empowerment of the national shipping industry.

On the occasion, the industry minister said the shipyard industry was a strategic one for the future of transportation, mining, fishing, tourism, and the military`s main armament system (alutsista).

Fahmi said the shipping industry was being developed in order to be able to meet the potential demand for ships in domestic and foreign markets.

Bapepam-LK signs deal with Iranian counterpart on sharia cooperation

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Indonesia's Capital Market and Non-Bank Financial Institution Supervision Agency (Bapepam-LK) and the Securities and Exchange Organization of Iran (SEO) signed an agreement on Monday to enhance bilateral cooperation, especially in the sharia stock market.

"We're still behind on the development of sharia products. With this agreement I hope there will be some exchange of trainings on the development of sharia products," Bapepam-LK Fuad Rahmany said at the signing ceremony.

He said that mutual cooperation with Iran would be good for Indonesia in terms of developing its sharia market, as Iran's sharia market enjoys total capital of US$50 billion and an average price to earnings ratio of five.

Besides cooperating on the sharia sector, the two countries would also exchange training, information and know-how in order to develop institutional capacity and better regulate and supervise their stock markets.

He said the cooperation with Iran fit within the framework of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, a worldwide association of national securities regulatory commissions.

Djoko Hendratto, head of Bapepam's bureau of investment, said Monday's memorandum of understanding was expected to open up possibilities for each of the two countries to list companies on the other's stock exchange.

Dual listing allows a company to list its shares on more than one stock exchange to improve the liquidity of shares and give investors more trading alternatives.

Erry Firmansyah, head of the Indonesia Stock Exchange, said the exchange had finished drafting a regulation on dual listings and would submit it to Bapepam-LK this week for approval.(ndr)

Lautan Luas to issue new bonds

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Publicly listed industrial chemical supplier PT Lautan Luas plans to issue bonds worth Rp 600 billion (about US$64.40 million) in March for developing a plant in China, a director said.

Director for operations and support Herman Santoso said the bonds issuance would be jointly underwritten by PT DBS Vickers Securities Indonesia and PT Mandiri Sekuritas, and expected it to be offered March 3-5 and listed on the IDX on March 12.

Herman said the bond's interest rate was not decided yet, but it ranged around 10.5 percent to 11.5 percent a year. The bond would mature in five years.

Herman said the plant, which would be the company's fifth in China, would produce sodium sulfate for detergent and ceramic material to meet high demands in the emerging economy.

"The annual production capacity of the new plant is 1 million tons, but for the first phase we will produce only 600,000 tons per year," said Herman, adding that the company already operated four plants in China.

Vice president director Jimmy Masrin said 92 percent of the money to be raised from the bonds issuance would be used to support the company's working capital. The remaining 8 percent would be used to pay the company's bonds issued in 2003.

Jimmy said that for the next five years, the company would seek Rp 900 billion in loans to expand its domestic business in potential sectors like oil and gas, water treatment and consumer goods.

Lautan Luas, established in 1951, owns and operates 11 subsidiaries in manufacturing and four in support and services nationwide and five regional manufacturing facilities in China. It has two regional offices in Thailand and China.

The company's consolidated financial performance shows Rp 2.08 trillion in revenue and Rp 356 billion in profit during the first nine months of last year.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Indonesia`s Telkom buys 6.8 pct stake in Scicom

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia Internasional (TII), a subsidiary of state telecommunications operator PT Telkom Tbk, has bought a 6.8 per cent stake in Scicom Technologies Pvt Ltd (KLSE:0099) through the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (KLSE).

"The acquisition is in line with Telkom's goal of developing unorganic businesses and strengthening corporate businesses," Telkom Corporate Secretary Harsya Denny Suryo said on Friday.

Scicom is a provider of outsourcing services in product development, software support and maintenance, project services and technology consulting for scientific, engineering and enterprise data integration application areas.

Indonesia to offer Krakatau Steel to strategic investors after IPO

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Minister of State Enterprises Sofyan Djalil said that 15 per cent of the shares of PT Krakatau Steel (KS), a steelmaker wholly owned by the state, will be offered to strategic investors after it launches an initial public offering (IPO).

Krakatau Steel will sell not more than 40 per cent of its shares through the two schemes - IPO and sales to strategic investor, Sofyan said. The IPO would soon be launched after the share market was stable, he said, adding that funds from the share sales would be used to expand the capacity of the country's largest steel maker.

The production capacity of the company would be expanded to 4 million tons from 2.2 million tons at present.

CBA injects AUS$30 million in Bank ANK to expand market

Surabaya, E Java (ANTARA News) - The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has injected Aus$30 million in fresh funds into Bank Artha Niaga Kencana (ANK) which it took over early this year.

Speaking to the press here on Monday, CBA President Director Symon Brewis-Weston said the funds would among other things be used to increase its system networks, improve its human resources and finance its business expansion plans.

"We want to strengthen our market share after our merger with Bank ANK," he said.

CBA officially took over Bank ANK in early January 2008 following the signing on July 26, 2007 of an acquisition agreement.

With the merger, all of Bank ANE`s assets, liabilities, licences and agreements were officially taken over by the Australian-based bank.

"The merger is part of our growth strategy as an initial step to strengthen our position in the Indonesian banking industry," he said.

He said CBA believed the merger would enable it to expand its market share, particularly in East Java which had so far been the focus of Bank ANK`s market strategy and to support the CBA`s plan to expand its market in the eastern parts of Indonesia.

The CBA would maintain the Bank ANK`s business which focused on extending credits to the small and medium business sector.

"East Java and the eastern parts of Indonesia have very great potential to grow in the next 10 to 15 years. Therefore, we do not hesitate to increase investment to support the growth of our business," he said.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

SIA scholarship boosts drive to learn

Kurniawan Hari, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

Five senior high school students stand nervously in front of a counter at a finance office while others sit on a nearby bench, chatting with their friends. They are each waiting for their turn to receive a cash scholarship.

The students are recipients of a scholarship package provided by Singapore Airlines (SIA) under its Singapore Airlines for Education (SIAP) program.

The scholarship is distributed by Inke Maris & Associates, SIA's communications partner.

"I am thankful to Singapore Airlines for giving me the scholarship. Had the company not given me the scholarship, I would not be able to continue my education," said Kamalia, a student at SMUN 40 state senior high school in North Jakarta.

Takbir Ali Sahbana, a student with SMAN 111 state senior high school, also in North Jakarta, said the scholarship helped lift his parents' financial burden.

"With the scholarship, I can buy books and school uniforms," he said.

Kamalia and Takbir are among the 203 students who received the SIAP scholarship. The students, mostly from poor families in North Jakarta, have been relying on the scholarship for the past seven years to pursue their education.

When they were first given the scholarship in 2000, the students were still in elementary school; today, they are attending senior high school and will graduate this June.

SIA came up with the scholarship idea after realizing that a great many Indonesian students had dropped out from schools following the financial crisis in 1997.

"SIA has been committed to giving Rp 10 billion to the scholarship ... to help (students) study for seven years," said Inke Maris, adding that, "In return, they have to achieve high academic records."

Accordingly, the students are required to provide their progress report each semester.

Apart from providing scholarship to high school students, SIA also funds 67 university students in Manado, North Sulawesi, and in Surabaya, East Java.

"This year, SIA will review the scholarship program before deciding whether to continue or to stop it," said Erica Jurief, Inke Maris & Associates consultant for SIA.

Students said they wished SIA would continue the scholarship program, because in addition to lifting their financial burdens, it also helps improve their self-confidence.

"The scholarship makes me an enthusiastic person. I wish I can continue my studies," said Gigih Pambudi, an SIAP scholarship recipient.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

PLN to distribute energy-saving bulbs

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

As part of its push for energy saving, state electricity firm PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) revealed Friday it would begin distribution of some 51 million energy-saving light bulbs in the third week of March.

In the first phase, up to 1 million bulbs would be given to households mainly in eastern Indonesia, chairman of the PLN's demand side management team, Syaiful B. Ibrahim, said Friday.

Each household would be entitled to receive three units.

"We target the distribution of all units to be completed by October," Syaiful said as reported by detik.com.

He said each household would need to exchange the units with conventional bulbs used previously used around their homes with a capacity of between 25 and 40 watts.

"This (barter) is to avoid misuse. We're concerned they will not use the bulbs or sell them to others."

The Indonesian Association of Electric Lights (Aperlindo) has estimated that 2.8 million units would be distributed to West Sumatra, Aceh, and Riau, and 3.1 million units to North Sumatra.

The association said Lampung, South Sumatra, Jambi, Bangka Belitung and Batam would receive 2.97 million, while South Kalimantan, West Kalimantan and East Kalimantan would get 2.56 million units.

It added North Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo province would get 2.97 million units, while East Java 9.47 million, Central Java and Yogyakarta some 9.1 million and West Java around 9.6 million.

Jakarta and Banten will get 5.47 million while Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Papua and Maluku get 2.3 million units.

Govt proposes new agency to help bolster exports

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

To help improve foreign trade, the government has proposed the establishment of an agency to provide financing, underwriting and insurance to exporters.

The agency, called the Indonesian Exports Financing Agency (LPEI), will replace Bank Ekspor Indonesia, which was established in 1999 to bolster exports, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said recently.

"The government feels that Bank Ekspor cannot fully support the country's exports because it also operates as a regular bank, which must follow banking regulations," she said.

Under the draft law submitted to the House of Representatives last week, the LPEI is expected to act as a special body that will not follow the regulations on state-owned enterprises, financial companies or institutions, insurance companies and the banking sector.

"The LPEI will have a sovereign status and be treated as a government agency so that it can fill the market gap that is not covered by commercial banks or financial institutions," said Sri Mulyani.

The LPEI, she said, would support the government's programs relating to exports and would be responsible for all associated risks.

To establish the LPEI, the government will need at least Rp 4 trillion (about US$428.72 million), which will be derived from Bank Ekspor's assets.

As of the end of 2007, Bank Ekspor was worth Rp 10.1 trillion, according to the bank's president director, Arifin Indra.

In the draft, the LPEI is allowed to look for funds from bond issuances; in various loan terms from the Indonesian government, foreign governments, multilateral institutions, domestic and foreign banks; and grants.

The government is optimistic that the LPEI will benefit exporters as it will be able to provide financial aid and insurance facilities for short-funded exporters who are regarded as being engine's of the country's economic growth.

"The LPEI can also do its job based on a sharia financial system to lure investors from Islamic countries, such as the Islamic Development Bank, which has invested money in Indonesia since 1976," said Mulyani.

Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, is considered a potential market for sharia-based banking and financing.

The vice chairman of the House's special committee on the LPEI draft law, Hasto Kristianto, said Friday that with the LPEI's establishment, exporters will be more willing to invest in foreign countries.

Hasto said Indonesian exporters would be less hesitant to engage in trading activities with importers from "high-risk" countries as the LPEI could cover the risks.

However, Hasto said the government needed to insert its calculations on the benefits of the LPEI before the House could endorse it.

"We wanted to know how much the state will benefit from the LPEI's establishment, compared to the existing situation with Bank Ekspor," he said.

The deliberation of the draft law, he said, would be completed by June at the latest. (adt).

Hydrogen Production

OCEES International, Inc. intends to leverage its extensive experience into the development of floating OTEC platforms within the tropical region of the planet, utilizing existing oil platform technology, to support an operational OTEC system incorporating its natural synergies for providing energy to a hydrogen electrolysis and liquefaction plant.

Liquefied hydrogen can then be shipped via existing technology to the industrial market centers of the world to supply a transportation fuel and fuel source to an impending hydrogen based economy.

OTEC’s greatest potential is to supply a significant fraction of the fuel the world needs by implementing large, floating platforms and or grazing plant ships to produce hydrogen or other suitable transportable energy carriers.

Proposed First Installation Locations

There are two possible reasonable candidates for commercial scale installations of OTEC hydrogen plants.

One of these is on an offshore platform off the coast of a suitable tropical island installed in 3,000 feet of water. In an arrangement similar to that of the Iceland Hydrogen Project; a car company, an energy company, and OCEES International, Inc. with local government participation would form a consortium to build and operate a 100 MW OTEC hydrogen plant.

The LH2 produced would be used to power fuel cell equipped cars and buses in a demonstration of environmentally friendly technology.

Another immediately possible OTEC hydrogen project is to use one or more existing oil platforms in water depths greater than 3,000 feet in the Gulf of Mexico. As these newer generations of deep platforms exhaust the oil reservoir at their particular location they can be transformed into OTEC hydrogen production platforms. This would be a more economical approach than removing these platforms. The cost of an OTEC hydrogen system under these conditions would be approximately 25% less than one which requires the construction and deployment of a new platform.

It should also be noted that the design of these deep off-shore oil platforms could in the first instance incorporate a small (3 to 4 MW) OTEC plant to power the oil drilling and pumping functions as well as provide fresh water and air conditioning.

Such a design would significantly reduce the present supply
requirements from shore for these offshore installations.

Decorative plants lift welfare of Bogor farmers

Theresia Sufa, The Jakarta Post, Bogor, West Java

Hundreds of farmers in Bogor's Tajurhalang village have improved their welfare thanks to decorative plants.

Before, the farmers, who live in a valley near Mt. Salak, were poor. They planted bananas, cassava and pineapple, but only managed to earn Rp 200,000 (US$22) to Rp 300,000 a month. The money was barely enough to meet their daily needs, let alone send their children to school.

Then the farmers joined the farming group Violces. Afterward, they decided to shift to decorative plants, which according to interviewed farmers, were more profitable than what they used to grow.

"The profit from selling anthurium or poinsettia seedlings can reach up to Rp 15 million a month," Cecep Suryadi, a farmer, said.

Anthurium has become a trendy decorative plant among some circles in large cities.

Cecep said his income from growing and selling decorative plants was enough to send his children to university. One of his children is a graduate of the Bogor Institute of Agriculture (IPB), one of the most reputable universities in the country.

"Before, we couldn't keep cows. We were poor. We could not pay for our rice, let alone pay for our children's education. We ate bananas and cassava, leftovers from our unsold crops," Cecep said.

He said the popularity of the anthurium might eventually fade and prices go down, but he was not worried because he grew other plants as well.

Ukas Supendi, another farmer in Tajurhalang, agreed with Cecep.

"I prefer growing bromelia, a kind of decorative pineapple plant. Its price tends to go up instead of dropping," Ukas said, adding that he sold bromelia for between Rp 3,000 and Rp 1 million.

He has used the money from his new business to send his children to school, renovate his house and expand his farm.

From growing decorative plants, Ibu Ikah, a mother of three, has been able to further her children's education. She said she made Rp 1.5 million per month from her business, enough for her "children's education and daily needs".

Although all residents of Tajurhalang earn money growing decorative plants, there is no competition among them.

"We never compete. If a customer asks for something I don't sell, I will get it from a fellow farmer. We help each other in marketing our plants," said Ukas.

Together, resident have improved not only their own lives, but the life of the entire village.

The village has now clinched its status as the center of decorative plants in Bogor. The village, which used to be underdeveloped and dirty, is now green, with every yard filled with decorative plants.

Every weekend, the village is swarmed with buyers coming from Jakarta and surrounding areas.

Tajurhalang village head Odih said there were 300 farmers in the village.

"We just received financial assistance of Rp 75 million from the regency administration," Odih said. "I hope we can continue to be the largest decorative plant center in the regency."

Asean agrees to launch tourism joint promotion drive

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - All ASEAN member countries have expressed agreement to the Indonesian proposal to implement the ASEAN tourism joint promotion with a view to increasing the number of tourists visiting the region, a minister said.

Jero Wacik, Culture and Tourism Minister said here on Friday that the agreement was reached in the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held in Bangkok, Thailand, from January 18 to 22, 2008.

"We have proposed in the forum that the ten ASEAN member countries would launch a joint promotion drive by publishing `Inflight Magazines` and making VCDs in cooperation with the Japan Center. This will be very helpful to Indonesia in promoting our tourism potentials to other countries," he said.

Jero Wacik made the remarks after attending the opening of a 2008 undersea digital photo competition in Jakarta in the company of Freddy Numberi, Maritime and Fisheries Minister.

ASEAN comprises Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam.

Minister Jero Wacik said further that the tourism joint promotion drive will strengthen the ASEAN spirit and support the regional grouping`s efforts to develop the region into a single tourism destination.

In the Bangkok meeting the ASEAN tourism ministers also proposed the use of an ASEAN tourism logogram on ASEAN airplanes and the formation of an ASEAN Promotion Chapter for Tourism in several cities in addition to Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney, and stepping up the ASEAN Cruise Promotion.

During the ATF meeting, tourism ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, engaged in the IMT-GT (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand- Growth Triangle) also agreed to raise the number of tourists visiting the three countries by newly-opened air routes such as the Banda Aceh (Indonesia) - Penang (Malaysia), Langkawi (Malaysia)-Phuket (Thailand), Medan/Padang (Indonesia) - Hat Yai (Thailand) routes.

The three ministers also agreed to boost the tourism business in the regions covered by the IMT-GT by holding tourism events along with a campaign on the start of the Visit IMT-GT 2008-2009.

It was also reported in the ATF meeting that the number of international tourists in ASEAN Plus Three (Japan, China, South Korea) in 2007 reached 99 million.

Apart from that, Jero Wacik also attended the first meeting of ASEAN-India tourism ministers.