Bintang Delapan, Tsingshan to operate nickel smelter in April

JAKARTA (rambuenergy.com) PT Bintang Delapan and its partner from China, PT Shingshan, a subsidiary of Dingxin Group, are expected to start operating their nickel smelter in Morowali, Central Sulawesi in April this year.

Both companies have set up a joint venture (JV) firm, called PT Sulawesi Mining Investment , to develop and operate the smelting plant. Shingshan owns majority share of 55 percent in the JV firm, and the remaining 45 percent is held by Bintang Delapan.

Edi Prasodjo, director for mineral business, at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry (ESDM), was quoted by Kontan as saying that the construction of the smelting plant is now considered 80 percent completed.

In the first phase, the JV will produce 300,000 tons per year of nickel pig iron (NPI) and will gradually increase the capacity to 500,000 tons per year.

In the first phase of development, the JV firm spent US$320 million to build the iron ore smelter. In the second phase of development, the company plans to invest US$640 million, said Prasodjo.

To support the long-term operation of the smelter, the joint venture firm plans to build a power plant with capacity of 2×65 megawatt (MW) and the second phase with capacity of 450 MW.

Bintang Delapan secured mining concession permit with total area of 21,695 hectares in 2008, covering nine villages, namely Bahomoahi, Bahomotefe, Lalampu, Lele, Dampala, Siumbatu, Bahodopi, Keurea and Fatufia. The land concession will expire in 2025.

Edi Prasodjo said about 30 companies are planning to develop smelter plants in Indonesia. At present, there are four companies that operate nickel smelter, namely PT Vale Indonesia, PT Aneka Tambang Tbk, PT Cahaya Modern Metal Industri and PT Indoferro, which produces nickel pig iron. (*)

 

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