Sweden invests Rp1.3 trln in Indonesian biofuel sector

Jakarta (Antara News) - Sweden Bio Energy will invest Rp1.3 trillion in biofuel development in Indonesia by opening a jatropha curcas plantation on 100,000 ha land in East Nusatenggara (NTT) province in the near future, an official has said.

The Swedish company which for the first time dealt with the biofuel sector in Indonesia last March, would also set up a biofuel processing plant in NTT with a capacity of 350,000 tons per year, Indonesian Biofuel Development national team chairman Al Hilal Hamdi said here Monday.

He said the Rp400 billion in investment would be used to procure 100,000 ha of land and the remaining Rp900 billion for funding the construction of the biofuel processing plant.

Sweden Bio Energy is one of 50 private companies which interested in building the biofuel sector in Indonesia at a total cost of US$17 billion, or Rp150 trillion in the next few years.

"The private companies`commitment to develop the biofuel sector in Indonesia is beyond our expectations," he said.

Last January, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) signed a $5.5 billion deal on the development of the biofuel sector in Indonesia.

Other private companies like Genting Biofuel under a cooperation with Sinopec invested $3 billion while Indomal $1 billion in a biofuel development project in Indonesia.

Hilal also said that British Petroleum Plc which has a cooperation with D1 Oils Plc, planned to build a biofuel producing plantation on 1 million hectares of land in India, Indonesia and Africa.

"The largest part of the 1 million ha plantation will be built in Indonesia," he said.

In the beginning, the BBN national team`s secretary Evita Legowo said BP Plc had already explored a possibility of opening 100,000 ha of land for biofuel development in NTT, Papua, and Kalimantan.

The BP Plc and D1 Oil cooperation was part of an investment set at $160 million to develop the biofuel sector in India, South Africa and Southeast Asia, she said.

The government has predicted that the country`s biofuel development project until 2010 will cost Rp200 trillion, including Rp13 trillion to Rp 15 trillion allocated by the government and the rest by the private sector.

It has projected that biofuel will contribute 5-10 percent to the national energy consumption by 2010. (*)
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