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South Korean firm jacking up investments in Indonesia

Publication Date : 20-03-2014

 

South Korean resource and energy company Samtan Co. Ltd. is planning to spend about US$800 million to tap opportunities available in Indonesia’s palm oil, mining and power plant businesses.

Samtan CEO and vice chairman Kang Tae-whan said the expansion would be conducted in five years.

“Our focus is still on energy and resources,” Kang said.

“We are ready to invest in Indonesia with cash.”

Kang spoke after a meeting with Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) chairman Mahendra Siregar, who was on a three-day visit to Seoul to lure more South Korean investments into Indonesia.

PT Perta-Samtan Gas president director Kim Sung-kook said most of the investments would be directed to improve his company’s businesses in the mining sector, power generation through an independent power producer (IPP) project and oil palm plantations.

“We are looking for and very soon we will see some new projects, such as Cirebon power plant expansion II and some certainty in Sumatra and Kalimantan areas (for plantations),” Kim said.

“Samtan is also continuously looking for a coal mining business although the price is still not very good.”

Samtan recorded $1.38 billion in total assets and $230 million in net profit as of the end of last year.

It has established various business portfolios in Indonesia since the early 1980s.

To name a few, the company now controls a stake in major coal producer PT Kideco Jaya Agung, electricity company PT Cirebon Electric Power, Jakarta-listed mining service company PT Samindo Resources, crude palm oil (CPO) producer PT Tata Hamparan Eka Persada and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) company PT Perta-Samtan Gas.

The CPO business will become Samtan’s main expansion focus in the next few years, with around $600 million already in the pipeline.

Kim said the company was considering expanding its plantation areas by 50,000 hectares.

According to Samtan’s website, Tata Hamparan abd a local partner currently have 24,000 hectares of planted areas located in Bangka, Sumatra, with total production of 71,000 tonnes of fresh fruit bunches.

Its other subsidiary, Cirebon Electric Power — a joint venture between Samtan, Japanese Marubeni Corp., Korea Midland Power Co. and Jakarta-listed PT Indika Energy — is working on the construction of its second power plant in Cirebon. The Cirebon power plant is designed to generate 1,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

Total investment in the new power plant is estimated to reach $2 billion, with electricity expected to be ready for distribution in 2018.

Cirebon Electric Power currently operates a 660-MW coal-fired power plant in Cirebon.

The construction of the first power plant, which cost $850 million, kicked off in 2008 and was finished last year.


“We are going to develop an integrated project,” Kim said.

“So, we are looking at the [possibility of running a] coal supply [business], plus a coal-fired power plant on the industrial estate,” Kim added.

 

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