KENDARI. Investment in the mining sector in Southeast Sulawesi is promising following the construction of a smelter in Morosi, Konawe District, which can engage a lot of workers, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) said.
"The presence of the smelter will have a positive impact on the people of Southeast Sulawesi, no matter whether they are farmers, fishermen or those working in the hotel industry," Kadin Chairman for Southeast Sulawesi La Mandi said here on Saturday.
The smelter in Morosi needs a large number of workers, and the local people in Konawe, in particular, have many opportunities to do business.
The smelter project, for example, will boost animal husbandry sector, because the large number of factory workers will need food or meat.
He said that the other sector which will enjoy positive impact is the service sector where the mobilization of a large number of workers will need land, air and sea transportation services.
"The government and the people should make preparations because what is exploited is the natural wealth of Southeast Sulawesi," he added.
Earlier, the Industry Ministry stated it will speed up the construction of the Konawe Industrial Estate in Southeast Sulawesi and the Morowali Industrial Estate in Central Sulawesi to serve as bases for metal processing facilities or smelters.
"We will continue the acceleration of development of industrial estates outside Java, including in Morowali, in line with the instructions of President Joko Widodo," Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto said in a written statement received recently (Jan 11).
Airlangga made the statement while visiting Central Sulawesi to inspect the progress in expansion of the Morowali Industrial Estate in that province.
Construction of the integrated industrial estate, which occupies a location of 2 thousand hectares, is expected to lure in a total investment of Rp78 trillion that will open 20 thousand jobs, excluding 80 thousand jobs indirectly.
Airlangga stated that the ministry was facilitating the development of 14 industrial estates outside Java to enable create fair distribution of the industrial development that has so far been concentrated only in Java.
Operations of the industrial estates would boost the regional economy to contribute to the improvement of the people's welfare in the regions, the minister remarked.
He asserted that the Morowali Industrial Estate would speed up development of downstream industries in line with the government program to increase the added value of mineral commodities.
The Morowali Industrial Estates is specially designed for nickel refining industry or smelter to produce nickel metal from ore, he added.
In Morowali Industrial Estate, there are a number of smelters in operation, including ferronickel plant of PT Sulawesi Mining Investment, with a production capacity of 300 thousand tons a year coming on line in Jan 2015. The facility is backed up by a 2x65 megawatt coal fired power plant (PLTU). In 2015, the company produced 215,784 tons of nickel pig iron (NPI), Airlangga said.
In January 2016, another ferronickel smelter came on stream of PT Indonesia Guang Ching Nickel and Stainless Steel Industry with a capacity of 600 thousand tons per year backed up by a 2x150 MW PLTU.
Currently, PT Indonesia Guang Ching Nickel and Stainless Steel Industry is in the process of commissioning test of its stainless steel factory with a capacity of 1 million tons per year, the minister affirmed.
There is also a project of PT Indonesia Tsingshan Stainless Steel designed to have a production capacity of 600 thousand tons of ferronickel and 1 million tons of stainless steel per year, which is now 60 percent completed.
Meanwhile, PT Indonesia Ruipu Nickel and Chrome is building a chrome smelter to be operational by early next year, the minister said, adding that it was also 60 percent completed.
PT Broly Nickel Industry, with its hydro metallurgy plant, which is seeking to expand its production capacity from 2 thousand to 8 thousand tons of refined nickel is now in a trial operation.
Editor: Adi Wikanto