Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Airlangga: PSN in critical minerals to serve as Indonesia’s economic backbone

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Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Airlangga Hartarto, announces that 16 National Strategic Projects (PSN) on critical minerals worth Rp 248.75 trillion (US$15.5 billion) has been designated to play a pivotal role in Indonesia’s economic transformation.

“These strategic projects focused on critical minerals are poised to be the backbone of Indonesia’s economic transition and are expected to be finalized within the designated timeframe,” Airlangga told the National Coordination Meeting for the Acceleration and Pre-Evaluation of PSNs on Tuesday, May 14, 2024.

He said that the PSNs encompassed smelters designed to process nickel into ferronickel, bauxite into alumina, copper into copper cathodes, and iron sand into pig iron.

Among the PSNs set to be completed this year are the copper cathode smelter owned by PT Freeport Indonesia worth Rp 38.35 trillion and the ferronickel smelter owned by PT Aneka Tambang.

Airlangga cited that of the 16 PSNs, the bauxite-to-alumina smelter boasts the highest production capacity at 3 million tons per year. This is followed by the nickel-to-ferronickel smelter at approximately 2.5 million tons per year, the iron sand-to-pig iron smelter at 1.6 million tons, and the copper-to-copper cathode smelter at 680,000 tons.

Furthermore, the most substantial investment value smelters, slated for completion after 2025, total Rp 95.29 trillion. These include the nickel-to-ferronickel smelter and the integrated nickel smelter owned by PT Vale Indonesia.

Airlangga emphasized that domestically-established smelters play a crucial role in processing commodities highly sought after worldwide. He stressed that these critical minerals served as havens for international investors amidst economic uncertainties.

Referring to the fluctuating nickel prices during global conflicts, Airlangga highlighted the importance of these minerals as safe investments.

In the next phase of downstream processing, Airlangga outlined plans for the development of the semiconductor industry. Despite Indonesia’s lag behind countries like the United States and Japan, Airlangga affirmed the government’s commitment to nurturing the domestic semiconductor sector.

He underscored the significance of human resources development, suggesting that education in electronics must be prioritized for the advancement of the semiconductor industry.

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