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:: Bosowa to Build $300m Nickel Smelter
Bosowa Corporation, a local diversified business group, says it will start the construction of a smelter by early 2015 with an investment amounting to around US$300 million.
CEO Erwin Aksa said that the smelter would be located on a 100-hectare plot in Jeneponto, South Sulawesi. “We’ve completed the feasibility study and by early next year all the preparation, particularly land clearance, will be completed," he said.
The construction, to be carried out by a subsidiary of Bosowa — PT Bosowa Metal Industri, was supposed to kick off this year. However, issues, including a change in design and the falling price of commodities on the international market, resulted in the company postponing its schedule.
Erwin said the smelter would process nickel ore into as much as 10,000 tons of ferronickel annually. He did not elaborate on the time needed for the smelter to be operational. “With the smelter we want to tap into the opportunity brought about by the ban on raw mineral exports. We will source the raw materials traditionally exported," Erwin said.
The raw mineral export ban will come into effect early next year and is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to give added value to its exports and build downstream industries.
Bosowa will secure supplies from its own mining sites as well as other mines in Southeast Sulawesi, such as Kolaka, Konawe and Pomala. The company will sell the ferronickel on the domestic and overseas markets, according to Erwin.
In anticipation of the sizeable energy demand to fuel the smelter, Bosowa through its subsidiary PT Bosowa Energy, plans to build a 250-megawatt coal-fired powerplant in Jeneponto, which may cost around Rp 3.5 trillion ($294.46 million). “We aim to start the project early next year after a deal with PT PLN," Erwin said, referring to the state electricity company.
The new power plant will add to the capacity of its existing coal-fired powerplant of 2x125 MW in Jeneponto.
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