Investment in cement industry in 2007 about US$1.4 billion
Banda Aceh, Aceh (Antara News) - Total investment in cement industry in 2007 reaches about US$ 1.4 billion, head of the National Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Muhammad Lutfi said.

Lutfi made the remarks here on Thursday during his visit to the capital city of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD), the westernmost province of Indonesia.

The investment was among others for the development of Siam Cement plant (PT Semen Jawa) amounting US$100 million with a capacity of one million ton and PT Holcim Indonesia Tbk`s palnt in Tuban (East Java) with the designed capacity of 1.5 million tons, he said, adding that PT Semen Gresik would also realise its expansion program.

In addition, Orascom and Cemex would also build medium-sized factories respectively in East and South Kalimantan provinces, he said on the sidelines of inauguration of a cement factory of PT Lafarge Semen Andalas Indonesia (SAI) in Lhok Nga village, Aceh Besar district.

Tsunami devastated this area in December 2004.

According to him, with the investment of US$ 1.4, the designed capacity of national cement production would rise by some 6 million tons from 46 million to 52 million tons.

PT Semen Jawa and Orascom have been conducting the Environmental Impact Analysis (Amdal) he said, citing that it will likely take a long time because the Amdal will also cover other aspects including the pollution problem.

Lutfi said, in the first semester of 2005, the growth of national cement consumption rose up to 10 percent compared with the previous year, causing price disparity between Indonesia and Malaysia nearly US$30 per ton.

"Thus, businessmen come to Indonesia to invest because the cement price is higher," he said.

During 2006, however, the cement consumption only rose 1.6 percent compared with the previous year due to the high interest and the decline of the people`s purchasing power following the fuel oil price hike.

"But, the national cement consumption this year could increase from 8 to 10 percent," he noted.

In the meantime, Industry Minister Fahmi Idris expressed hope that new investment for cement industry would come to Indonesia to meet the raising demand.(*)
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