Rp 300 billion sugar refinery to be built in West Sumatra

Syofiardi Bachyul Jb, The Jakarta Post, Padang, West Sumatra

PT Semesta Berjaya is set to build a sugar refinery in the Padang Industrial Park, Padang Pariaman regency, West Sumatra, at a cost of some Rp 300 billion (about US$33.3 million).

Company director Burhanuddin said the refinery, which would be built on a 7-hectare site, would have a refining capacity of 500 tons per day and was expected to meet surging sugar demand in the province.

"Construction will commence in July and we hope that the refinery will have entered into commercial operation within three years," he said after the groundbreaking ceremony, which was also attended by West Sumatra governor Gumawan Fauzi.

To ensure a continuous supply of sugercane, the company will develop 17,000 hectares of sugarcane plantations at five different locations in the province in collaboration with local growers.

About 5,000 ha of the planned sugarcane plantations would be located in Pesisir Selatan regency, 5,000 ha in Dharmasraya regency, 3,000 ha in Padang Pariaman regency and 1,000 ha in Padang.

Burhanuddin said the sugar refinery and sugarcane plantations would create up to 2,800 jobs.

In the early part of the 20th century, Indonesia was the second biggest sugar exporter in the world after Cuba, with annual exports of between 1.5 million and 2.5 million tons, and an annual production of between 2 million and 3 million tons.

However, production has declined sharply since then, turning the country into a net sugar importer, Baharuddin said. (06)
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