Jakarta, InfoPublik – Metal, Machinery, Transportation Equipment, and Electronics Industries director general I Gusti Putu Suryawirawan is optimistic that national nickel production can meet the target of 4 million tons in 2020 or contribute 10 percent to the world’s nickel demand of 40 million tons per year.

"We are optimistic because Indonesia has 32 nickel refinery and processing projects spread across several industrial areas, among others, in Konawe, Kolaka, Obi Island, Halmahera, and Morowali," Putu said in a written statement on Thursday (5/11).

Currently, the world’s largest nickel supplier is China which also becomes the importer of ore and semi-finished materials from other countries, including Indonesia.

The eastern Indonesia, Putu added, is focused on the development of smelter-based industries, especially based on nickel ore and stainless steel, for instance, at Morowali Industrial Estate in Central Sulawesi.

The industrial estate has an area of 2,000 hectares and is targeted to attract investment value of USD6 billion or equivalent to Rp78 trillion. It will absorb 20,000 direct labors and 80,000 indirect labors.

The Bantaeng Industrial Estate has an area of 3,000 hectares and is projected to attract investment amounted to USD5 billion or equivalent to Rp55 trillion, with Harbor Group acting as an investor.

Meanwhile, Konawe Industrial Estate is predicted to attract investment amounted to Rp28 trillion.

"The development of smelter industry in the country is not only to encourage the national economy, but also to bring a positive impact on the surrounding communities’ welfare," said Putu.

Therefore, a strategic partnership among stakeholder is needed to achieve common goal. "This partnership must include industry players, labors, and government," he added.

Putu explained that the downstream step is also an implementation of Law No. 3 of 2014 on Industry whose implementation is regulated in Government Regulation No. 41 of 2015 on Industrial Resources. The regulation stipulates the utilization of natural resources in an efficient, green, and sustainable ways.

Furthermore, the purposes of raw natural resources export prohibition and limitation are to increase the added value of natural resources; to strengthen the structure of domestic industry; and to guarantee the availability and distribution of natural resources for the domestic industry. (Translator: Wilda Stiana)