Indonesia launches a large industrial zone on the island of Borneo

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Jokowi: Indonesia’s economic transformation starts here, where we will manage our natural resources from upstream to downstream to create a massive supply of jobs. (File photo by Reuters)

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JAKARTA (December 21): Indonesia on Tuesday began construction of a new industrial zone on the island of Borneo, which officials say aims to use hydropower for factories producing items such as semi- conductors, lithium-ion batteries, solar panels and aluminum products.

Located in Borneo’s North Kalimantan province, the estate will span 30,000 hectares (74,132 acres) and include investments from China and the United Arab Emirates, President Joko Widodo said at a inauguration ceremony. ‘inauguration.

“Indonesia’s economic transformation starts here where we will manage our natural resources from upstream to downstream to create massive job supply,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said at an event. broadcast.

Jokowi is keen to establish manufacturing industries to take advantage of Indonesia’s rich natural resources such as nickel, bauxite and copper so that the country can move up the value chain and not just export raw materials.

The government says the estate will be “green” as it will use power from a planned hydroelectric project.

Up to $12 billion in investments will be needed for the hydropower project alone and nearly $1 billion for a port, Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said at the same event.

Luhut said Indonesia is also planning to build an electric vehicle battery plant under the North Kalimantan project.

The project is led by PT Kalimantan Industrial Park Indonesia (KIPI), which controls the land to be used for the estate, Luhut said. KIPI is run by coal tycoon Garibaldi Thohir.

Earlier this year, Luhut said Australian group Fortescue Metals and Chinese group Tsingshan Holding could invest billions of dollars in the industrial park.

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