The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo is scheduled to inaugurate a smelter, or a concentrate purification facility, developed by nickel miner PT Sulawesi Mining Investment (SMI) in Morowali regency, Central Sulawesi, on Friday.
'The exact time of the inauguration ceremony cannot be confirmed yet. It's still unclear whether it will be held before or after Friday prayers. We are waiting for confirmation from Palu because the main agenda of the President is to visit Parigi Moutong,' Morowali Regent Anwar Hafid said as quoted by Antara in Palu on Thursday.
He said SMI had conducted production trials since the beginning of 2015 and they had run smoothly. 'That's why the President aims to inaugurate the smelter,' said the regent.
Anwar said that once the smelter was inaugurated, SMI would export nickel to several countries. He said if all the company's plans ran smoothly, SMI targeted to process 2 million tons of nickel per year.
'Insya Allah [God willing] Morowali's locally derived income will be better in the future,' he said.
The head of the Investment Coordinating Agency and One-Stop Integrated Service (PTSP) Central Sulawesi, CH Chandra, said the smelter would process ferronickel ore and in the long term, it was expected that it would produce stainless steel.
SMI built the smelter in stages, in which the first stage has been fully completed with an investment of around US$320 million and a production capacity of 300,000 tons. The company spent $640 million on the second stage of development, increasing the capacity to 600,000 tons. (ebf)
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