"(The government is planning) to develop the zone (of sugar industry) in Papua, measuring one to two million hectares. Currently, 200 thousand hectares of land is planned to be used for sugar factories," Sulaiman stated when met at the Building of the Agriculture Ministry, Jakarta, on Tuesday.
According to the minister, the government chose Papua as the development site of the sugar industry zone, as the region has climatic conditions that are conducive for sugarcane cultivation and is home to an adequate area of land for the purpose.
"Firstly, we paid attention to the region’s agroclimatic conditions. Secondly, we took its vast area of land into account. Hence, we had many considerations. This is a large industry, so Papua would be a strategic location," he remarked.
The minister then noted that investment worth Rp2.5-3 trillion (US$160-191.6 million) is required for building a single sugar factory that has a producing capacity of eight to 12 thousand tons of cane per day (TCD).
"Usually, a factory built, with an investment that is worth Rp2.5-3 trillion, has the capacity of eight to 12 thousand TCD," he noted.
He did not divulge the date of the commencement of the zone's development. He did, however, note that several business actors had expressed their keenness to invest in the project.
"We will invite and verify private actors that show interest. If they have the capital, they can participate. It is that simple," he noted.
Sulaiman further revealed that Indonesia had approached Brazil to cooperate in the provision of related technology and experts.
"Earlier, we sought Brazil's technological support for the project. They accepted the request and will send experts to help our sugar factories," he stated.
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