"For the past two weeks, we have been actively discussing with foreign investors keen to develop the petrochemical industry in Indonesia," Airlangga noted in a statement received in Jakarta on Friday.
Based on a government road map called Making Indonesia 4.0, the chemical industry is one of the five sectors that will become the pioneers in the application of industry 4.0 in the country.
Hence, the chemical industry should be developed to become more productive, innovative, and competitive in the global scene.
"For instance, in the petrochemical industry, the upstream sector plays a strategic role in supporting various production requirements in several downstream manufacturers," he noted.
Products produced by the petrochemical industry, among others, are used as raw materials in the plastics, textile, paint, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries.
The industry ministry held a meeting with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Minister of Energy and Industry Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al Mazrouei during which the investment plan of a UAE-based company, Mubadala, was discussed.
"They are eager to partake in the development of the petrochemical industry with PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical in the second CAP Project," he remarked.
Mubadala is committed to investing US$2.5 billion. This investment value is half of the total investment required to develop new facilities that will produce olefins and polyolefins that are expected to reduce dependence on imported raw materials.
Furthermore, China Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Taiwan plans to disburse its funds in Indonesia in cooperation with PT Pertamina (Persero).
The government is awaiting follow-up negotiations between the two companies to develop an integrated complex of petrochemical industry in Balongan, Indramayu, West Java.
"We yet await business-to-business (b-to-b) talks between Pertamina and CPC. Their investment is around US$8.62 billion," he noted.
The Minister of Industry is optimistic that the operation of several large-scale petrochemical plants in the country will meet the demands of the domestic market.
Currently, industries in Indonesia annually absorb five million tons of petrochemical products and their derivatives.
"This figure continues to grow. The factories will operate in stages. They will operate completely in 2025. Thus, our petrochemical industry can grow even better," Hartarto explained.
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