Indonesia and South Korea to sign huge energy deals

Seoul (Antara News) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was to hold a summit with his South Korean counterpart Roh Moo-Hyun Tuesday, on the first full day of a visit expected to seal huge energy deals.

Yudhoyono will witness the signing of 14 agreements covering government administration, energy, special industrial zones and transport infrastructure, said his cabinet secretary Sudi Silalahi.

"The highest value is in the energy sector, that is 8.5 billion dollars," Silalahi was quoted by AFP as saying in Seoul.

The biggest of the deals, all of which are at the preliminary stage, is a 5.5 billion dollar direct coal liquefaction project in Indonesia's East Kalimantan province on Borneo island.

Yudhoyono will witness the signing of the deal, to extract crude oil from coal. It involves Indonesia's Nuansa Cipta Coal Investment and South Korea's Kenertec, POSCO Engineering and Construction and Samsung Securities, according to Jakarta officials.

In other major projects, Indonesia's state railway Kereta Api, the East Kalimantan provincial government and Cipta Coal Investment are set to sign an agreement with Kenertec and POSCO Engineering worth two billion dollars to build coal transport infrastructure.

A preliminary pact will also be signed for a 600-million-dollar deal to develop the Tanjung Api-api Energy Industry Zone in South Sumatra, involving Petras Indonesia and a Korean consortium represented by Innet Co.

The deals, if finalised, are good news for Indonesia which is trying to boost foreign investment, and for South Korea which is eager to diversify its foreign energy sources.

The two leaders signed a joint declaration on a strategic partnership during Roh's visit to Jakarta last December. (*)
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