“ … 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, February 26, 2010

Blogger Auto Pagination Speeds Page Loads but Angers Bloggers

Susan's Blogging Blog, by Susan Gunelius, Thursday February 25, 2010

Last week, Blogger rolled out Auto Pagination, which automates the amount of content that is displayed on Blogger blog pages based on the amount of HTML and and images on each page. Google claimed that the purpose behind the change is to speed page load time. For example, with the new Auto Pagination feature, a Blogger blog might be limited to only display two posts per page if those posts include a lot of images. Visitors would need to click on the Next Post link to view additional posts from the blog.

While the change is unlikely to affect a lot of smaller bloggers, it has caused concern from larger bloggers, particularly those who use Blogger for photo blogs or blogs that are image-intensive, such as celebrity fan bloggers.

Many of the Blogger users who found their blogs suddenly altered to display only a couple of posts per page blogged about the new Blogger Auto Pagination feature in order to complain about the change. According to some of the more vocal bloggers, they were able to email Google and work with them to modify their blogs so the Auto Pagination feature doesn't affect their blogs. If you use Blogger and dislike the Auto Pagination feature, be sure to contact Blogger support and voice your concerns.

Has the new Blogger Auto Pagination function affected your blog or any of the blogs that you read? Leave a comment and share your experiences.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

BKPM aims to attract $25 billion investment

Riyadi Suparno, The Jakarta Post, Washington | Thu, 02/25/2010 1:46 PM

Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board chairman Gita Wirjawan said in Washington on Wednesday (Thursday in Jakarta) he aimed to attract between US$25 and $35 billion per year to double Indonesia's gross domestic products in a five-year time.

Speaking before U.S. businesspeople here, Gita noted that Indonesia aimed to grow around 7 percent in the next five years, and to achieve that, BKPM had been tasked to attract investment of between $10 to $22 billion per year.

"But we are thinking of a much bigger number of investment, at the level around $25 to $35 billion per year, given the size of our economy. We are a $550 billion economy," Gita told the businesspeople.

To achieve his ambitious targets, Gita said that he had started his "one stop shop" licensing for investment that should expedite licensing to as fast as five hours and seven days at the latest.

Gita said, a total of 15 ministers had agreed to give their licensing power to BKPM to make the one stop shop service workable.

"It's a huge task. Policy making is easier to fixed, but policy implementation is a lot more difficult," he said.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Singapore`s Wilmar plans US$400 mln CPO complex in E. Java

Antara News, Wednesday, February 24, 2010 21:37 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd (SGX:KD3), one of the world's largest producers of crude palm oil (CPO) hopes to start the operation of a US$400 million project in Gresik, East Java in the middle of this year.

Construction of the integrated industrial complex including cooking oil refinery, packaging, oleochemical, biodiesel and NPK fertilizer factories, began late 2009.

Wilmar is also building supporting infrastructure including a special quay and power plant, the newspaper Investor Daily said.

Business in Asia Today - Feb.24, 2010
published by Asia Pulse

Related Article:

RI, Malaysia promote new approach to CPO exports

Sunday, February 21, 2010

RI soon gets fishing training ship from Spain

Antara News, Sunday, February 21, 2010 12:31 WIB

London (ANTARA News) - Transportation minister Freddy Numberi and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries minister Fadel Muhammad will receive fishing training ship "Medidihang-03" from Spain`s Asturias Gondan Shipyard in the next couple of days.

Both ministers will receive the ship during their visit to Spain from February 21 to 23, said Allen Simarmata, first secretary for education, social and cultural affairs of the Indonesian Embassy in Spain on Sunday, adding that the ship will be used by fisheries college in Jakarta.

According to him, the training ship is a part of Fisheries Development project in Indonesia (FTDI) which was built by the Asturias Gondan Shipyard and financed by soft loans from the Spanish government to the Indonesian government.

Meanwhile, Economic Function Coordinator of the Indonesian embassy in Madrid, Musthofa Taufik Abdul Latif said that the ministers and their entourage on Monday (Feb 22) will observe the Gondan Shipyard in Figueras, Asturias.

Mustofa said that the ship will be used to support the learning process and practices of cadets at the Jakarta Fisheries College and also for the unit of other Education Technical Implementation under the Human Resources Development Agency of Marine and Fisheries.

In addition, ministers Freddy Numberi and Fadel Muhammad on Tuesday will have a meeting with Spanish investors at Spanish Confederation of Employers` Organizations, Diego de Leon, 50 - 28006 Madrid.

Minister Fadel Muhammad on the occasion will deliver his speech about the Indonesia`s economic situation and the projects offered in supporting the program of marine and fisheries ministry

Friday, February 19, 2010

Sumitomo named to build new PLN geothermal power plant

Alfian , The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Thu, 02/18/2010 11:57 AM

State power firm PLN has appointed Japan’s Sumitomo Corporation to construct a geothermal power plant in Lampung representing a total investment of US$156.7 million.

The Ulubelu geothermal plant located in the province’s Tenggamus regency will have two power generation units each with a capacity of 55 megawatts (MW).

“The power plant is expected to begin commercial operations by 2012,” PLN’s president director Dahlan Iskan said during a contract signing ceremony with Sumitomo on Wednesday.

The project will be financed with a loan from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). “It’s a soft loan with an interest rate of only about 0.7 percent,” Dahlan said. The loan will also cover the funding for the construction of a 150 kilowatt (kW) power grid and substations.

PLN’s director for planning and technology Nasri Sebayang said the power plant would supply power to the PLN grid in Lampung and South Sumatra.

The power plant will receive steam from the geothermal field in Ulubelu district, which is operated by PT Pertamina Geothermal Energy (PGE), a subsidiary of state oil and gas company PT Pertamina.

PGE currently has so far produced geothermal energy for the generation of 272 megawatts (MW) coming from its three geothermal fields in Kamojang in West Java, Lahendong in North Sulawesi, and Sibayak in North Sumatra. The company expects to increase its geothermal energy production to 800 MW during the next five years.

As for the Ulubelu geothermal power plant, PGE has agreed to sell the geothermal energy to PLN at 4.2 US cents per kilowatt hour (KwH).

Dahlan said the price was relatively low. “But, the price cannot be used as a basis for all geothermal projects, because the Ulubelu project is being developed with a very soft loan,” said Dahlan, adding price had always been the most difficult issue in geothermal steam sales and related power purchase agreements.

Aside for the Ulubelu project, PLN and PGE have also signed a heads of agreement for steam sales and power purchase from 11 other geothermal fields. “The development of the 11 fields is part of the second 10,000 MW power program,” Nasri said. He added that PLN and Pertamina had not agreed yet on the steam prices for the 11 projects. “We expect to reach agreement on this by October,” he said.

Indonesia has geothermal reserves equivalent to 27,000 MW of electricity, equal to about 40 percent of the world’s reported reserves. Currently, about 1,050 MW of Indonesian reserves have been tapped. The latest report is that geothermal energy will account for about 39 percent of the total 10,153 MW of power supply to be produced under the second 10,000 MW program.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

PLN to build two gas power plants in South Sumatra

The Jakarta Post | Wed, 02/17/2010 3:25 PM

State power company PT PLN plans to build two gas power plants with a total capacity of 600 megawatts (MW) in South Sumatra this year.

PLN president director Dahlan Iskan said in Jakarta on Wednesday the two power plants will be using gas from South Sumatra.

"The power plants will make use of the gas pipelines already in place there," he said as quoted by Antara news agency.

He added that the power plant in Prabumulih will have a capacity of 200 MW, and the one in Musi Rawas, 400 MW.

The power plant in Prabumulih will use 45 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) of gas from the Singa field operated by Medco EP Indonesia, and the one in Musi Rawas will be using 80 MMSCFD of gas from the Jambi Merang field run by Hess Indonesia.

"We have already signed a contract for the gas which will be supplied from March 2010," he said.

Dahlan added that PLN had decided to build the projects itself as the gas supply had been secured and it was at a relatively low price.

"We have not decided whether the procurement mechanism would be a lease, an operational cooperation, or otherwise," he said.

Agriculture Minister to Open Up 10.000 Hectares of Land Annually

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 17 February, 2010 | 15:47 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Agriculture Minister Suswono said his office plans to open 50.000 hectares of new land per year within the next five years. He was optimistic that the program can be realized because the National Land Agency (BPN) had announced that 7,3 million hectares of land were neglected.

“These lands can be utilized for agriculture,” Suswono said in the 2010 – 2014 Agricultural Development Program seminar at the Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday (16/2). The utilization of these lands, he continued, is expected to increase the welfare of farmers.

At present, the average land ownership by Indonesian farmers is 0,3 hectare per capita. According to Suswono, this cannot be expected to support their livelihoods. “Land ownership families must be increased,” he said.

At the same occasion, the Agriculture Ministry’s secretary-general, Hasanudin Ibrahim, said there were 191 million hectares of agricultural land in Indonesia. "This is larger than Brazil and Australia," he said. However, the problem is that Indonesia has a much bigger population.

As a consequence, land ownership is smaller. “In Brazil, a farmer normally has up to five hectares of lands,” Hasanudin said. “That is why farmers there are relatively more prosperous than ours.”


Pertamina to Build Gas Station for Fishermen

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 17 February, 2010 | 15:50 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:This year, state-run oil company Pertamina will build 400 Solar Packed for Fishermen (SPDN) or gas stations in regencies and fish production centers. The policy was to address the low number of SPDNs, especially in remote islands.

“Next week we will have a meeting with the relevant offices for an overall decision. Pertamina will be in charge of the implementation,” said Maritime and Fishery Minister Fadel Muhammad, following a meeting with Pertamina directors in Jakarta, yesterday.

Fadel said the construction will be based on a new concept, namely the minapolitan concept, which applies to a large fish producing area needing a larger fuel supply. “The large fish producing area is called minapolitan,” Fadel said.

That is why there is no standard on how much allocation fuel would be supplied to one SPDN because there is a different quota for each SPDN. Fadel said fishermen are asked to unload their catches at a specified area.

The amount of their catch will determine the fuel quota. “In this way, people can longer need to buy and sell in the sea,” he said. “So far, when they go home with empty catch, the fuel is empty, too. There is something wrong with this.”


GMF secures contracts from Singapore Airshow

Novan Iman Santosa, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 02/17/2010 11:27 AM

Aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company PT GMF AeroAsia signed three contracts as a result of its participation at the Singapore Airshow earlier this month, the company said in a media release acquired by The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.

The contracts and deals under negotiation represent business opportunities worth $56.75 million.

GMF general marketing manager Sandi Yuliawan said the deals include a contract extension with cargo airline Cardig Air for maintenance services for its Boeing B737F.

“The contract is worth $4 million and without a time limit,” Sandi said in the release.

GMF, a subsidiary of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, also signed maintenance cooperation contracts with the Indonesian Air Force and joint partnership deals with Aircelle and Triumph.

The cooperation with Aircelle worth $11 million, is for inspection, repair, overhaul and replacement work on the thrust reverser systems that equip Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines for Garuda’s fleet of Airbus A330 jetliners, Aircelle said in its web site.

“The 26-month agreement will ensure that thrust reversers used on Garuda A330s are up to the latest operational standards,” said Aircelle, which makes engine nacelles.

As for Triumph, GMF, will maintain the GTCP 131-9B auxiliary power units (APUs) of the Boeing 737 Next Generation aircraft.

GMF was also in negotiation with Sriwijaya Air to maintain its fleet of eight Boeing 737 Classic, with Max Air of Nigeria for the maintenance of its six Boeing 747 wide body aircraft, and with Chinese Airlines for technical handling during line maintenance at Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport.

GMF was the only Indonesian company taking part in the air show although two charter airlines showcased some of their aircraft at static displays on behalf of the aircraft manufacturers.

Premiair showcased its Brazilian Embraer Legacy 600 business jet while Susi Air showed its Anglo-Italian AgustaWestland AW109S Grand helicopter, the American Cessna 208 Caravan and the Italian Piaggio Avanti II aircraft.

Indonesia to offer infrastructure projects worth $5 billion

Aditya Suharmoko, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Wed, 02/17/2010 1:14 PM

Indonesia will host an Asia-Pacific ministerial conference from Apr. 14 to Apr.17, offering infrastructure projects worth at least US$5 billion, officials say.

The 2010 Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) for Infrastructure Development will be held at the Jakarta International Expo in Kemayoran, Central Jakarta, supported by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, in association with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

"We estimate $5 billion worth of projects can be marketed," Bastary Panji Indra, director of PPP development at the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), said Wednesday.

The projects include the construction of a power plant in Pemalang in Central Java and a railway network in Central Kalimantan, he said.

Dedy S. Priatna, deputy of infrastructure at Bappenas, said Indonesia needs Rp 450 trillion ($48.6 billion) between 2010 and 2014 from the PPP to speed up the development of infrastructure projects.

Japan`s clean water suppliers look to Southeast Asia

Antara News, Wednesday, February 17, 2010 15:29 WIB

Hanoi (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Japanese clean water suppliers will export technology for fresh water production to several Southeast Asian cities, including Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City.

The plan which will start from the fiscal year of 2010, is to meet the increasing demand for fresh water in these cities. A fresh water committee and a fresh water service company of Tokyo will provide water filter devices and give advice on how to limit water loss to the cities of Southeast Asian countries.

The company will also help manage clean water pipelines and accelerate clean water supply projects in regional countries.

Business in Asia Today - Feb.17, 2010
published by Asia Pulse

Indonesia strengthens consumer protection

Antara News, Tuesday, February 16, 2010 21:55 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said on Tuesday a directorate general for consumer protection and standardization would be set up at her ministry.

"We are still waiting for the state apparatus minister`s approval," she told newsmen on the sidelines of her inspection to a warehouse for withdrawn imported energy-saving lamps here.

The formation of the directorate general was part of the trade ministry`s reorganization and bureaucratic reform in order to strengthen consumer protection in the country, she said.

Over the past years, the tasks of stabilizing staple food prices and consumer protection belong to the trade ministry`s directorate general for domestic trading, Pangestu said.

"Thus, we are separating the tasks of maintaining the logistic stability from consumer protection," she said.

In other part of her press briefing, Pangestu touched on the supervision of certain products.

She said, due to the limited budget and number of investigators among bureaucrats, the trade ministry could only supervise ten prioritized products.

The trade ministry`s director for products and services surveillance, Inayat Iman, said his party would prioritize the supervision of certain products this year.

Among the products were electronics, garments, toys, footwear, and food and beverages, bottled water, gas tank regulators, safety shoes, tires, and helmets, he said.

The violators of marketing products inflicting financial losses to consumers would be threatened with five-year imprisonment and maximum fine of Rp2 billion, he added.

RI, M`sia studying defense industry cooperation

Antara News, Tuesday, February 16, 2010 21:52 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Malaysia are studying the possibility of cooperating in the defense industry field, including joint production, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said.

"Yes, we discussed defense industry cooperation just now particularly with regard to Malaysia`s interest in armored vehicles made by PT Pindad," Purnomo said in reply to ANTARA News` questions here on Tuesday.

Speaking after a ceremony where a Yudha Dharma Utama star was presented to former Malaysian armed forces commander General Tan Abdul Aziz, Purnomo said the two countries also discussed the possiblity of jointly producing defense equipment.

"We will combine what Indonesia can produce or do with what Malaysia can produce or do so that the concept of the cooperation is based on mutual benefit," he said.

General Tan Abdul Aziz said his country was interested in cooperating with Indonesia in defense industry development.

"We are trying to see what the two can do in the cooperation, well, including joint production. We will see the benefit that the two could obtain from the cooperation," he said.

Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to solidify their cooperation in the defense industry field which was begun in March last year.

The cooperation still required a more systematic study for which each party would form a working group. Members of the Indonesian working group would come from the ministries of defense, finance, state enterprises, industry and research and technology. The working group would study what Malaysia was offering, he said.

Earlier, Malaysia had asked for its defense industry to be able to participate in tenders for maintainance and servicing of Indonesian defense system equipment.

However, Indonesia would still prioritize its own repair and maintainance services for the purpose. Indonesia would prioritize its defense industry and maintainance services for its main weapon system, he said.

Presidential Instruction on child protection soon : minister

Antara News, Tuesday, February 16, 2010 22:56 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government is soon to issue a Presidential Instruction (Inpres) as the legal basis for concrete action to protect children in the country, a social services official said.

The government`s plan to issue the Inpres was mentioned by Social Affairs Minister Salim Segaf al Jufri in a dialogue with participants of a workshop on child welfare here Tuesday, according to Saoto Waluyo, a senior adviser to the minister.

The Inpres would be the legal basis for the launching of national child protection movement, he said.

The minister on the occasion cited official statistical data showing there were 230,000 street children and 5.4 million abandoned ones in Indonensia in 2006. But now the figures had dropped to 147,000 and 4.8 million respectively.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Govt steams ahead with Sunda Strait Bridge railway plans

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 02/16/2010 7:30 PM

The planned Sunda Strait Bridge mega-project, connecting Java and Sumatra, would carry a double-track railway, the government says.

“So, it won’t be just a highway,” Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said Tuesday as quoted by kompas.com.

Hatta, who chairs the National Team for the Sunda Strait Bridge construction project, said the government would also lay underwater cables and fiber optic cables across the strait.

A pre-feasibility study conducted by construction firm PT Bangungraha Sejahtera Mulia, a subsidiary of Artha Graha Network, found that the 29-kilometer bridge would cost up to Rp 100 trillion (approximately US$10.75 billion).

Once operational in 2025, the bridge would stretch from Anyer in Banten to Bakauheni in Lampung. It would also pass over the Sanghiyang, Prajurit and Ular islands in the Sunda Strait.

Under the current plan, the bridge would also have six lanes for four-wheeled vehicles and two single lanes for motorcycles.

Hatta said that he would invite the governors of Banten and Lampung to discuss the project next week. (nkn)

Pelindo I to spend Rp 1.3t in new investment

Nani Alfrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 02/15/2010 11:48 AM

PT Pelindo I, one of the country’s four state-owned port operators, will spend up to Rp 1.3 trillion (US$139 million) this year to improve several ports under its management, a senior executive said.

Bambang Eka Cahyana, Pelindo I’s director of commercial and business development, said last week that port facilities needed to be further improved to enable them to handle more cargo shipment that was expected to increase significantly following the implementation of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) in early January.

He said ACFTA would increase not only imports but also exports of non-oil commodities from Indonesia to other ASEAN members and China.

“This year we allocated Rp 1.3 trillion in capex [capital expenditure], which is higher than the Rp 149 billion last year,” he said, adding that about Rp 800 billion of the total funds would be sourced internally, with the rest from bank loans.

Pelindo I operates and manages several major ports in North Sumatra and Riau, including Belawan Port and Belawan International Container Terminal (BICT), Dumai Port and Pekanbaru Port.

It also supervises 16 small ports such as Pelita Pantai Port and Sungai Duku Port in Riau.

Bambang said that this year, the company would spend Rp 700 billion to purchase new port equipment.

“This year we plan to buy two container cranes and five rubber-tired gantries. We hope to be able to operate five cranes and ten gantries by the second half of 2011,” he said, adding that in 2009, the company purchased three cranes and two gantries.

According to Bambang, Pelindo I will need more funds to purchase such equipment because they were expensive. “A crane costs $9.5 million, while a gantry costs $ 2 million,” he said.

The company will also purchase three new tugboats and two scout ships to speed up docking activities. Bambang said that the price of a new tugboat could reach Rp 25 billion while a new scout boat could cost Rp 2 billion.

Apart from procuring supporting equipment for the ports, Pelindo I plans to expand capacity at BICT port from 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) to 800,000.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Three national seaports in West Sulawesi completed

Antara News, Monday, February 15, 2010 22:53 WIB

Mamuju (ANTARA News)- The building of three national seaports in West Sulawesi province is entering its finishing touches and scheduled to operate this year.

Head of the Marine Affairs of the West Sulawesi Transportation Agency Nicholas Terrano said here Monday the three national seaports are located in Budong subdistrict, Mamuju regency and in Pasangkayu subdistrict, Mamuju Utara regency.

"The two national seaports, whose construction was started in 2008, have entered their finishing touches this year, and would soon go into operation," he said.

In the meantime, he said, one of the national seaports which had also been completed in January 2010, and ready for operation, is located in Silopo, Polewali Mandar regency.

He said the three national seaports are each built at a cost of Rp10 billion taken from the State Budget in stages.

He said that with the operation of the three seaports the sea transportation infrastructure in the region will increase and ready to serve as cargo handling ports.

"Pelni ships of 1500 to 2500 tons capacity will be calling at the ports for transit from other areas like Makassar, Balikpapan, Manado, Palu, Surabya and Jakarta, and from some other areas," he said.

He also said that there will also be 1500-ton pioneering ships of the West Sulawesi administration and provided by the central government with funding from the state budget, to serve inter insular shipping to carry cargo and people.

Uno May Spend $214 Million Buying Stakes in Consumer Goods Companies

Jakarta Globe, Bambang Djanuarto & Berni Moestafa, February 15, 2010

Indonesia offers “huge potential for companies in the consumer sector," says Sandiaga Uno. (Bloomberg Photo/Dimas Ardian)

Sandiaga Uno, the second-youngest of the nation’s 30 richest people, may invest in consumer companies this year as investors’ interest shifts toward tapping household demand in Asia’s third-most-populous nation.

Uno’s PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya, which manages about $1.5 billion in assets, may spend as much as Rp 2 trillion ($214 million) to buy stakes in consumer companies, he said.

Jakarta-based Saratoga is looking at opportunities in the retail, food and beverage, and pharmaceutical industries among others, Uno said.

The private-equity firm is betting on domestic consumption in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy to boost returns. The country avoided following its neighbors into a recession after nine rate cuts by the central bank bolstered consumer spending, which accounts for about two-thirds of gross domestic product. Fourth-quarter growth was the fastest in a year at 5.4 percent.

“The demographic type of investment that relies on strong sales because of the population and the rise in the middle class has become the new theme of investment,” said Uno, 40, whose fortune is estimated at $400 million. Indonesia offers “huge potential for companies in the consumer sector.”

Growth in Indonesia’s $514 billion economy has been supported by rising consumer confidence, which according to a central bank index rose in January to near the five-year high recorded in July when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was elected to a second term.

Retail-sales growth in Indonesia increased to 33.9 percent in November, the fastest pace in two years. PT Matahari Putra Prima, the country’s biggest retailer, last month sold its stake in a department-store unit for Rp 7.2 trillion, or double the unit’s share price before the deal was announced.

“We’re seriously looking into which pockets of industries still offer reasonable valuations,” Uno said. “We expect to complete an acquisition this year.”

Still, a possible increase in interest rates and under developed infrastructure may hamper investments, Uno said. Bank Indonesia on Feb. 4 kept its key interest rate at a record low of 6.5 percent for a sixth straight month to support consumer spending.

Inflation increased to 3.72 percent in January, the highest in seven months. The central bank may need to “take monetary policy action” if inflation approaches or exceeds 6 percent, Bank Indonesia Deputy Governor Hartadi Sarwono said last week.

Saratoga owns 23.15 percent of PT Adaro Energy, Indonesia’s second-biggest coal producer. The company also has investments in telecommunications and palm-oil businesses.

While Saratoga remains “bullish on coal,” finding new investment opportunities in energy-related industries has been difficult because competition among buyers has driven up the valuations of these assets, Uno said. PT Benakat Petroleum Energy said on Thursday that it signed a deal this month to buy a 37.15 percent stake in oil-services provider PT Elnusa, beating Uno’s Saratoga.

The private-equity firm plans to meet investors on a road show at the end of this year or early 2011 to raise $300 million as more foreign investors express interest in Indonesia, Uno said.

“They’re suddenly starting to look at Indonesia because the growth story is there, the political and economic stability is there,” he said.


Indonesia to host young scientist competition

Dina Indrasafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Mon, 02/15/2010 7:59 PM

Indonesia is scheduled to host the 17th International Conference of Young Scientist (ICYS), to be attended by at least 160 students from 19 countries, in April this year.

Monika Raharti, the director of the Young Researcher Development Program at the Surya Institute, which would help facilitate the conference and training of Indonesian scientists to participate in the event, said this would be the first time the conference would be held outside Europe.

Indonesia's success in last year's conference in Poland, where Indonesia grabbed six gold medals and secured the overall champion title, helped the country to gain the host title as well, she said.

"We had suggested the idea of hosting the conference, but after we won the medals, the decision was clear," Monika said.

The conference will be held in Sanur, Bali, from April 12 to 17. As of Monday, 19 countries had registered students. Monika said registration would close in March.

Up to 12 Indonesian students will participate in this year's conference, Monika said.

UAE Firms Launch $5b Projects in Indonesia

Khaleej Times, Issac John,15 February 2010

DUBAI — MEC Holdings, part of the Dubai-based Trimex Group, said on Sunday that it has begun work on six major projects in Indonesia involving a total investment of $5 billion in partnership with the Government of Ras Al Khaimah.

The projects — a coal mine, railway, an aluminum smelter, a fertilizer plant, a port terminal and a power plant — are making significant headway, and the flagship $1 billion rail project is on track for commissioning in 2012, said Madhu Koneru, MEC’s Executive Vice-Chairman.

MEC Coal and MEC Infra — two special purpose vehicles set up as a joint venture between the Ras Al Khaimah Investment Authority (Rakia) and MEC Holdings —are spearheading the projects in partnership with India’s National Aluminum Co (Nalco) and Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Service Group (IL&FS), he said.

MEC Coal is developing the coalmine, which has an estimated two billion metric tonnes in coal reserves, while MEC Infra undertakes the 130-kilometer rail project.

Work on the rail track, the first private railway in Indonesia, will begin next month. The rail will link the Muara Wahau coal mine in East Kalimantan’s East Kutai district with the coast, where MEC Holdings is investing $250 million on a new port capable of handling cape-size vessels. “Land acquisition of 250 hectares for the terminal has already been completed. The port will be the region’s first fully integrated facility to load vessels using an automated conveying system,” said Koneru.

Koneru said the mine and railway would be central to a complex of facilities that includes a power plant fuelled by coal, an aluminium smelter, a fertilizer plant and a high capacity port terminal with a total integrated investment valued at $5 billion.

MEC is partnering with global railway and transportation services leader, CANAC for railway and port operations and maintenance.

With equity partner Nalco, an Indian government entity and Asia’s largest integrated aluminium complex, MEC will invest $2 billion in the greenfield aluminium smelter with capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum. The smelter will depend on bauxite import from India. A further $2 billion investment will build a 1,250 MW coal-fired power plant and other auxiliary facilities for the smelter. Both projects are scheduled for competion in 2013.

ITNL, a subsidiary of IL &FS Group, is providing MEC financing to build the transportation infrastructure, railway network and deep-sea port, said Koneru.

“The land acquisition for all the projects is almost complete and the project is on schedule. In the next five years, MEC’s investments alone will create 5,000 new jobs in East Kalimantan,” said Koneru.

Initially, MEC is looking at a coal production of two million tonnes starting this year from its 12,000-hectare coal concession in East Kutai. Production from this site is expected to reach 32 million metric tonnes annually by 2019.

MEC Holdings’ parent company Trimex Group is a global minerals and metals conglomerate.


Sunday, February 14, 2010

Citing Shortage, Pertamina Unit Says it Will Stop Selling Natural Gas to PGN

Jakarta Globe, Yohanes Obor, February 14, 2010

PT Pertamina Hulu Energi said on Sunday that it would no longer be able to supply natural gas to state-owned PT Perusahaan Gas Negara under an existing contract because of the depletion of its reserves.

The move is further evidence of the country’s difficulty in securing natural gas for domestic industry.

Pertamina Hulu Energi spokesman Ali Mundakir told the Jakarta Globe that the company would not be able to meet its commitment to provide PGN with 65 million standard cubic feet per day because its supplies were now “limited.”

PGN corporate secretary Wahid Sutopo was quoted by news portal Detikfinance.com on Sunday as saying the company would be unable to meet the needs of some of its customers because of the cancellation of the contract.

“The termination of the gas-sales contract will impact our ongoing operation, including 165 industrial, 81 commercial and 10,200 household customers in Serpong, Banten, and surrounding areas,” Wahid was quoted as saying.

Pertamina Hulu Energi operates the Offshore North West Java gas block, a concession that stretches from Cirebon to the Thousand Islands in Jakarta Bay.

Ali said the gas sales contract with PGN had expired on Dec. 31 but had been extended until Feb. 28.

However, he said Pertamina Hulu Energy, a unit of state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina, and upstream oil and gas regulator BPMigas had urged PGN to seek other gas suppliers since July.

Ali said the ONWJ block was now producing 200-220 mmscfd gas. He said Pertamina Hulu Energy had committed to supplying 100 to 150 mmscfd of gas to state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara and 70 to 100 mmscfd gas to state fertilizer company PT Pupuk Kujang due to a ministerial decree ordering that the fertilizer industry and power generation take priority.

“We are now only able to commit to supplying gas to PLN and Pupuk Kujang,” he said.

The manager of the ONWJ block, Ignatius Tenny Wibowo, in December said output at the block would fall 3.2 percent this year to because most existing wells had matured.

ONWJ block was fully acquired in June 2009 from British Petroleum through its BP West Java subsidiary.

Ignatius said production at ONWJ’s new fields would be accelerated next year, and would add 40 to 50 mmscfd to total production.

Pertamina and PGN this month signed an agreement on the formation of a joint venture company to build three floating liquefied natural gas terminals.

The LNG terminals are aimed at helping the country meet rapidly growing domestic demand for gas for generating electricity and the fertilizer and manufacturing industries.

However, the country is still likely to import gas next year to meet demand. The government confirmed this month that Pertamina is in talks to import gas from Qatar.

Radar System for Sunda Strait to Be Complete by 2011

Jakarta Globe, Anita Rachman & Putri Prameshwari, February 13, 2010

Two locally developed radars are expected to be ready by next year to complete a radar array that will monitor sea traffic in the busy Sunda Strait, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences said on Friday.

Mashury Wahab, who is leading the project at the institute, also known as LIPI, said the two new radars would join the first, which was installed last December at Anyer in Banten, as part of the first stage of the Indonesia Sea Radar (ISRA) program.

He said the second radar would be installed at Merak, Banten, between July and August this year, while the third would be set up in South Lampung, near Bakauni Port, next year.

The three radars together will monitor the Sunda Strait and a small part of Sumatra Island.

“In the future, the three radars are expected to give us complete data on the traffic and activities in the area,” Mashury said.

Once the radar array is fully operational, Mashury said data on ship movements from the Sunda Strait to Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok Port could be collected and analyzed by LIPI and related government departments.

LIPI began the ISRA program in March 2009 with the objective of guarding the country’s waters against incursions by foreign ships intent on plundering national resources. It is also hoped to improve rescue response times for maritime accidents.

LIPI is working on the project with the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration and the Maritime Security Coordination Agency (Bakorkamla).

LIPI chairman Umar Anggara Jenie said ISRA was one of the institute’s main programs and had also been taken up by the new state minister for research and technology, Suharna Surapranata, as a priority program for his first 100 days in office.

Using both local and imported components, the Rp 4 billion ($428,000) radar system is being developed by LIPI’s Research Center for Electronics and Telecommunications in Bandung.

The first radar had a 10-kilometer range, but Mashury said the team planned to extend that to 30 kilometers. The team also hopes to improve the radar array’s effectiveness to not only detect ships, but also to obtain more detailed data such as ship speed.

Mashury said that for the next two radars, the team would use the latest innovations in radar technology. He said that frequency-modulated continuous wave technology, for example, would reduce the size and power consumption of the radars.

The ISRA radars are categorized as “quiet” radars, or low probability intercept, because they do not disturb other radar systems and cannot be detected by radar scanners.

“The next two radars should be lighter. We plan them only being 150 kilograms,” Mashury said, adding that construction of the new radars would cost about Rp 2 billion.

Bambang Ervan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation, said the ISRA would be useful to monitor sea traffic in the region.

An archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, the country still relies heavily on ships, ferries and even wooden fishing boats to move people and cargo.

Tanjung Priok Offers Indonesia New Car Shipment Service

Jakarta Globe, Irvan Tisnabudi, February 14, 2010

Honda Freed minivans due to be exported to Singapore prior to loading at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta. The state-owned port operator hopes the volume of vehicle traffic through the port grows as a result of its new transshipment service. (Bloomberg Photo/Dimas Ardian)

The Tanjung Priok port car terminal on Thursday began offering new transshipment services in a bid to challenge rival regional ports.

Richard Lino, president director of state-owned port operator PT Pelindo II, said the new service and the port’s strategic location would help it compete against ports in Singapore and Malaysia.

“In the past, car exporters in countries like India and Thailand have used the transshipment service in those two countries [Singapore and Malaysia], but Indonesia now has a similar service,” he said.

Transshipment is the shipment of goods to an intermediate destination for later shipment to another locale. It is often used to gather multiple small shipments headed to a single destination into a bigger shipment.

Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono said he believed the transshipment service for cars would make the Tanjung Priok port more attractive than its rivals.

“The Tanjung Priok port has always been an attractive port for shipping vehicles to and from Southeast Asia and Australia, as it is more strategic in terms of location compared to its rivals,” he said.

Pelindo II did not reveal the price or nature of the investment required to begin offering transshipment services.

The first ship to use the new service was the Golden Fang out of India. It unloaded 394 of its 1,091 cars onto the Rocky Highway ship, heading to New Zealand and Australia. The rest were unloaded for sale on Indonesia’s domestic market.

“The tariff for unloading, then loading the car again is Rp 600,000 [$64] per car,” said Gunta Prabawa, chief of the port’s car terminal.

The port can unload 130 cars per hour and load 90 per hour. The terminal has a parking capacity of 6,000 cars.

In 2009, a total of 112,983 cars passed through the terminal: 55,670 were imported and 57,313 were exported. This was a sharp decline from 180,000 in 2008.

Aviliani, an economist at the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance, welcomed the new transshipment service.

“It provides a more efficient cost alternative for the exporters, and we’ll be able to enjoy the added revenue from the shipments,” she said.

However, she cautioned that the service presented a challenge also: loading and unloading the increased number of cars with appropriate care.

“We can’t fall behind the ports in Malaysia in Singapore when it comes to fulfilling international standards for the cars being loaded and unloaded here,” Aviliani said.

US Embassy In Jakarta Looking For Top Facebook Fan Before Obama's Visit


JAKARTA, Feb 13 (Bernama) -- The US Embassy in Jakarta is holding a competition among its 30,000 Facebook fans to find the most ardent fan of the month ahead of President Barack Obama's visit to Indonesia, Indonesia's Antara news agency reported.

"The competition is to find who the top fan -- the "President" -- of the Embassy's Facebook page is, by encouraging fans to promote the page, telling their friends about what the Embassy is doing by including the status tag 'U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia'," the US embassy announced on its official website.

The contest runs from Feb 12 until March 12 and participants have a chance to win cutting-edge gadgets, books about the United States, and U.S. Embassy logo items.

Microsoft and Starbucks have donated prizes for the competition, including a Samsung Omnia Pro B-7320 smart phone, Microsoft Office 2007 software, a LifeCam Cinema HD camera, and vouchers for coffee at any of the 75 Starbucks locations throughout Indonesia.

U.S. Embassy Jakarta created its Facebook fan page, www.facebook.com/jakarta.usembassy in January 2009, making it the first diplomatic mission in Indonesia to do so.

The page features unique content, including previews of Embassy-produced radio and television programmes, photos of the Embassy's batik collection, and U.S. tourism videos.

It regularly hosts fan-only contests to win tickets to American cultural programmes and events. The Facebook fan page was also where the Embassy first released news about the March visit of President Obama, several hours before officially releasing the information to the media.

The U.S. Embassy also uses other online technologies to connect directly to the Indonesian people, including its official webpage, Twitter account, a branded YouTube channel with over 300 videos, and an online visa appointment system.

Nestlé cultivates 140,000 disease-resistant cocoa trees

Manila Bulletin, February 13, 2010, 2:11pm

ABIDJAN (Reuters) – Nestlé has cultivated 140,000 disease-resistant cocoa trees to distribute to farmers in Ivory Coast and should boost that number to 1 million per year by 2012, a company executive said.

Nestlé last year launched a plan to hand out the high-yield saplings to farmers with a view to possibly doubling their productivity and improving the often poor quality of Ivory Coast's cocoa.

''This year, we are aiming to produce 500,000, and from next year onwards, 1 million every year,'' Klaus Zimmermann, Nestlé's global head of research and development, said.

He spoke to Reuters during a visit of World Bank President Robert Zoellick to a Nestlé installation in Ivory Coast.

Zoellick used the occasion to highlight badly needed reforms to the sector, which he said had to be more transparent and tax farmers less.

Ivory Coast, the world's top cocoa grower, which supplies 40 percent of world demand, has suffered in recent years from lower yields because of aging trees and black pod disease.

Cocoa sector reforms have been held back by a political crisis that has persisted ever since a 2002-3 war split the country in two, leaving the north in the hands of rebels.

Echoing similar efforts in Indonesia and Ecuador, Nestlé, the world's biggest food group, is carrying out research on cuttings from Ivorian plantations to help propagate the stronger varieties.

Zimmermann said Nestlé's high-yield plants would be a hit with farmers.

''When the farmer realises he can get three-fold his income on the same land, he will be convinced,'' he said.

Benefits of the plants include higher quality cocoa, in a country better know for its bulk than its top grades, resistance to disease and drought, and 50 percent to 200 percent more productivity.

Zimmermann cautioned, however, against thinking this would quickly solve Ivory Coast's aggregate supply problems.

''In Ivory coast there are 3 billion trees. If we plant over the next 10 years 12 million, the impact on the quantity of the product will not be that big,'' he said.

Ivorian cocoa plantations yield, on average, between 400 and 500 kilograms of cocoa per hectare, compared with averages closer to 2 tonnes per hectare in countries like Indonesia.

Exporters on Monday estimated about 751,000 tonnes of beans had reached Ivory Coast's two ports by Jan. 24, up from 681,049 tonnes in the same period last year.

Fears that a vicious combination of aging trees, disease and dry weather will bode poorly for cocoa crop yields this season have kept cocoa futures trading at 30-year highs in London and New York in the past few weeks.