Semen Indonesia postpones Rembang factory opening due to protests
Ahmad F. Bayuny
The Jakarta Post
Publicly listed cement manufacturer PT Semen Indonesia (SI) has decided to postpone the initial launch of its new production facility in Rembang, Central Java, for several months due to a prolonged dispute with the local community.
“[The facility] will start commercial operation in either May or June. We are not in a hurry,” SI corporate secretary Agung Wiharto said as quoted by kontan.co.id on Monday.
The production facility was initially scheduled to start operating in April.
(Read also: Kendeng farmers blockade cement factory)
Since last week, dozens of farmers from the Central Java cities of Rembang, Pati, Blora and Grobogan, have cemented their feet inside concrete blocks in front of the State Palace in Jakarta to protest the establishment of the facility.
Local farmers have fought against the construction of the factory for years, saying that it would compromise the quality of groundwater in the Kendeng karst mountain.
SI, meanwhile, has argued that the factory would create jobs and improve the local economy, which it says are much needed by Kendeng residents.
Responding to the farmers’ protest in Jakarta, Agung said that the company had offered a number of solutions, including employing a so-called block mining system to prevent water from dripping out from the mountain. (hwa)
The writer is an intern at The Jakarta Post
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