Remarks of President of the Republic of Indonesia during the Groundbreaking Ceremony of PT Freeport Indonesia’s (PTFI) New Copper Smelter, 12 October 2021 at the Gresik Special Economic Zone, East Java Province
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
Peace and prosperity be upon us all.
Honorable Ministers of the Indonesia Onward Cabinet, here with me are Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Minister of SOEs, Minister of Industry, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, and Cabinet Secretary;
Honorable Leaders and Members of Commission VII of House of Representatives;
Honorable Governor of East Java and Regent of Gresik;
Honorable President Director and Board of Directors of PT Freeport Indonesia, PT Aneka Kimia Raya, and PT JIIPE (Java Integrated Industrial and Ports Estate);
Our country Indonesia has incredibly huge copper reserves. We are among the world’s seven top countries with the highest copper reserves. This is what many of us do not know. We must use this enormous potential as well as possible, as much as possible, for the prosperity of the people, by creating the highest added value for our economy.
So do not let us just own the mine and the concentrate, but the smelter, the downstream is in another country. As the Minister said earlier, they are in Spain, they are in Japan. It means those countries are the ones who enjoy the added value. That is why we are building PT Freeport smelter domestically, in this case, in Gresik, East Java province.
Therefore, the smelter construction is the Government’s strategic policy in copper industry after we took over 51 percent of PT Freeport’s shares. At that time, we also encouraged PT Freeport to build smelters in the country as they will generate added value.
The Minister said earlier that during the construction period alone, it will provide jobs for 40,000 workers. This means that there will be a lot of job opportunities in Gresik regency and in East Java province. The number is expected to be higher once it is in operation.
The construction of the smelter in the country will also strengthen the downstream industry. I will call on mining companies, both private and state-owned companies, to enter the downstream. What for? Once again, so that our commodities will have a higher value, so we should not send them in the form of raw materials.
To provide added value for the country means that it will provide higher income to the country. It will create more job opportunities. This is an important goal for the people and of course it will make our nation more independent, more advanced.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Earlier, we received a report that the smelter to be built will become the world’s largest single line smelter, with a capacity of 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate per year.
Ladies and gentlemen, can you imagine, 1.7 million tons. A small truck can carry three to four tons. Then how many trucks will be lined up here? Let’s say three tons, if only three tons in one small truck, it means there will be 600,000 thousand trucks lined up here, imagine. This is huge. Or, 480,000 tons of copper metal.
I hope that the fact that PT Freeport Indonesia is included in the Special Economic Zone in Gresik can attract other industries to join the Gresik SEZ, especially the copper derivative industry, to invest in the zone.
The Government will continue to provide full support, so that our investment climate will improve.
As requested by the the Coordinating Minister earlier, we will continue to support the infrastructure, the ease and certainty of doing business. For the availability of human resources in accordance with the needs of the industry, the provincial/regency governments will also provide their supports, so that the Gresik SEZ will be more advanced. And, Indonesia will be increasingly in demand as an investment destination.
This concludes my remarks on this auspicious opportunity. By saying bismillahirrahmanirrahim, I officially mark the Groundbreaking of PT Freeport Indonesia’s smelter at the Gresik Special Economic Zones in East Java province.
I thank you.
Wassalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. (FI/LW)