Kolaka – The Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM), Mr Arcandra Tahar, along with the Minister of Administrative Effectiveness and Bureaucratic Reform Mr Syafruddin and the Governor of Southeast Sulawesi Ali Mazi conducted groundbreaking of PT Ceria Nugraha Indotama (PTCNI) ferronickel smelter in Wolo Sub-District, Kolaka, Southeast Sulawesi, Saturday (6/15/2019).
Also attending the event were the Regent of Kolaka Mr Ahmad Syafei, the Secretary General of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Mr Ego Syahrial, the Inspector General of the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Mr Akhmad Syakhroza and officials of the Regional Government.
The PTCNI smelter will annually process 5 million tons nickel ore to produce 230,000 tons of ferronickel with 22% – 24% nickel content. The smelter is built using the rotary kiln electric furnace (RKEF) technology.
According to Mr Arcandra, natural resources play an important role in accelerating national development. Even so, the principle of utilization is still guided by Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution, which is controlled by the state and to serve the fullest possible welfare of the people.
The interpretation of state control, Arcandra continued, is that natural wealth should be managed by Indonesia’s best sons and daughters, using technology developed by the Indonesians, funding from domestic sources, and the end products are used to meet the domestic demands.
“In accordance with the mandate of the law, we want this nickel to be processed (domestically) and to extend the downstream processing chain so that it can produce added value,” Arcandra said.
Archandra added, the construction of the smelter is an implementation of the policy of intensifying in country mineral added value as mandated in Law No. 4 of 2009 concerning Minerals and Coal Mining.
The smelter groundbreaking ceremony is also a token of government commitment to continue to encourage mining businesses to support efforts to accelerate downstreaming in the mining sector. “This is what we want (the construction of a smelter) so that it can produce a value-added effect that is greater than just selling raw material,” said Arcandra.
“What we are trying to do is to close the gap of ideal vision with the existing reality. So that we can maximise the usefulness of our natural resources, “continued Arcandra.
The smelter is targeted to start operation by the end of 2021.
The President Director of PT Ceria Nugraha Indotama, Derian Sakmiwata, said that the construction of nickel smelter uses the rotary kiln electric furnace technology consisting of 4 rectangular type electric furnaces.
“This technology is the first in Indonesia where each has a capacity of 72 MVA with a total investment of IDR 14.5 trillion,” he said.
In implementing this project, said Derian, PT Ceria cooperates with an Indonesian state owned company PT PP (Persero) for the construction of ferronickel smelter buildings and supporting infrastructures.
In addition, he continued, PT Ceria also collaborated with a Chinese state-owned enterprise ENFI, for the engineering design and installation of the ferronickel smelter main equipment.
“This construction project represents the first ever collaboration between an Indonesian private company and an Indonesian state-owned company; between an Indonesian state-owned company and a Chinese state-owned company. In addition, the electricity power of 350 MW to support the smelter will be supplied by PT PLN (Persero), “Derian explained.
PT Ceria also supports the government’s program in developing electric cars by completing a feasibility study to build a hydrometallurgical project with an investment of US$973 million equivalent to IDR 13 trillion to produce cobalt, the main component of electric vehicle batteries.
According to Derian, PTCNI operates a nickel mine under a mining business operation production permit (IUP OP) issued in 2012. PTCNI employs around 1,400 employees, the majority of which are recruited from the Kolaka Regency. In 2018 PTCNI paid IDR 149 billion in taxes and non-taxes and spent IDR 10 billion in community development and empowerment programs.
Derian also explained that the smelter construction project was the company’s effort to provide maximum benefit to the Indonesian people, especially to participate in helping the local government in economic and welfare development programs for local communities.
Also speaking in the ceremony the Governor of Southeast Sulawesi Ali Mazi, who appreciated the first piling ceremony for the construction of the smelter of PT Ceria Nugraha Indotama.
“As a Government Officer, I welcome the construction of the ferronickel smelter as a manifestation of the mandate of Law No. 4 of 2009 concerning minerals and coal mining,” he said.
“With the construction of this smelter,” Ali Mazi said, “it can create jobs for local people especially for communities living adjacent to the mining area and is positive for the development of the communities’ economy,” he said.