S Korean investor ready to develop biofuel industry in NTT

Kupang, NTT (Antara News) - A South Korean investor based in Joellanam-Do province is ready to invest US$100 million in biodiesel oil and biofuel production projects in different parts of Indonesia, including East Nusatenggara (NTT), a prvincial official said.

"The South Korean investor, in partnership with Jakarta-based PT Tata Harapan Cemerlang (THC), is currently setting up a project to make biodiesel and biofuel from jatropha curcas plants in West Sulawesi and eyeing opportunities to do the same in Sumba Island in NTT," Ubaldus Gogi, spokesman of the East Nusatenggara provincial administration said here Wednesday.

The $100 million was meant as an initial investment to finance planting and harvesting of jatropha curcas on 30.000 to 50.000 hectares of land.

The two firms would also utilize jatropha curcas in Sumba Island in the making of biodiesel oil and biofuel, he said.

The plan to develop an alternative energy industry in Sumba Island was conveyed by THC president director SA Habibie in a letter to NTT Governor Piet Tallo last April 17.

The PT THC management said it had been cooperating with the South Korean investor since February 4, 2002.

The cooperation initially covered the setting up of long- distance learning classrooms at 18 Indonesian universities and in the production of fresh corn-based cattle feed for export to South Korea.

After the cooperation in the two areas proved successful, the South Korean investor got interested in developing an integrated plantation, including jatropha curcas for biodiesel and biofuel oil production, in West Sulawesi and NTT, Gogi said.(*)
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