President Jokowi Inaugurates Nickel Smelter in SE Sulawesi

By Office of Assistant to Deputy Cabinet Secretary for State Documents & Translation     Date 27 Desember 2021
Category: News
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President Jokowi inaugurates a nickel smelter owned by PT GNI, Monday (12/27). (Photo by: Presidential Secretariat/Laily Rachev)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo Monday (12/27) inaugurated a nickel smelter with a production capacity of 1.8 million tons per year, located in North Morowali regency, Central Sulawesi province.

“I really appreciate the construction of the smelter by PT Gunbuster Nickel Industry (GNI). This will provide a lot of added value. Processing nickel ore into ferronickel, the added value will increase 14 times and if nickel ore is processed into stainless steel billets, the value will increase 19 times,” the President said during the inauguration which was held in Morosi Industrial Estate, Konawe regency, Southeast Sulawesi province.

The construction of the smelter is in line with the Government’s commitment to stop  nickel ore exports and encourage industrial downstreaming. The cessation of exports of raw materials will encourage the domestic industries and downstream industries to develop rapidly.

“There is no choice. Those who want to take/buy our raw materials, they can’t do it anymore. This means that, like it or not, we have to establish the industry in our country, so that we no longer export the raw materials, which we have been doing for decades without providing great added value to the country,” the President said.

According to the President, based on a report submitted by the Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto, the value of Indonesia’s stainless exports in 2021 will jump to approximately US$20.8 billion. The President considered this a huge leap.

“Usually, if we export raw materials, only one or two billion (US dollars). This is a huge leap,” he said.

Not only nickel, the Government is also committed to gradually stopping the export of raw materials for mining products.

“At the end of next year, I have warmed you up by stopping one for bauxite. Next year, we will stop [the export] for other mineral and coal,” the President said.

On the occasion, the President also reminded regional governments to maintain a conducive investment climate so that the expected added value can be achieved.

The downstreaming of the industry, he said, will not only generates taxes for the state but also encourages job creation and brings in significant foreign exchange.

“We want everyone of our people to be able to get job. We don’t want to see the raw materials being exported to other countries, but we want them to provide added value to our country in the form of employment, as many as possible,” he said.

In addition, the President also ordered the regional governments to ensure that investors can carry out business activities safely so that they can increase investment value in the future.

“We hope that the people living near the location of this industry will feel the benefits, both related to employment opportunities and also new business opportunities for small businesses, medium enterprises and others so as to increase economic growth in the provinces and regencies where the industry is located,” he remarked. (DND/UN) (FI/LW)

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