Indonesia opens large industrial zone on Borneo island

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JAKARTA, December 21 (Reuters)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 things like semiconductors, lithium batteries. ion, solar panels and aluminum products.

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

“Indonesia’s economic transformation begins here where we will manage our natural resources from upstream to downstream to create enormous availability of jobs,” Jokowi, as the president is popularly known, said at an event. broadcast.

Jokowi wants 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 ladder and not just export raw materials.

The government has said the area will be “green” because it will use energy from a planned hydroelectric project.

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

Luhut said Indonesia is also planning to build an electric vehicle battery factory as part of the North Kalimantan project.

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

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

(Report by Fransiska Nangoy Editing by Ed Davies)

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