Palu, C.Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - PT Inco (Tbk) will realize its commitment to build a nickel processing plant in Bahodopi, Morowali district, Central Sulawesi province, before the end of June 2011, according to a clause in the work contract signed by the Indonesian government and PT Inco Canada in 1968.

"God willing, the groundbreaking ceremony to build the nickel refinery in Bahodopi will be held on June 22, 2011," a PT Inco official, Iskandar Siregar, said here Friday.

He refused to elaborate about the project but the Head of Bahodopi and Pomala`a Project, PT Inco, Kuyung Andrawina said the project`s cost was estimated at US$500 million.

According to Iskandar, the groundbreaking ceremony will be conducted by the Governor of Central Sulawesi Longki Djanggola, Morowali District Chief Anwar Hafid and the President Commissioner of Valeinco, the Brazilian company that controls the shares of PT. Inco, Peter Poppinga, as well as the CEO of PT Inco Tony Wenas.

On the occasion, PT Inco will also sign a memorandum of understanding with Bao Steel and PCI - two companies from China that will become partners to Inco in building the nickel factory.

The construction of the nickel plant in Bahodopi is also an investment strategy of the company to achieve an annual production of 90,000 metric tons compared with an average of 73,000 metric tons achieved in the last five years from the refinery in Sorowako, South Sulawesi province.

In connection with the visit of the Chairman of Valeinco Peter Poppinga to Morowali, Inco will also symbolically hand over the products development and the social activities which were funded with Inco`s social responsibility program that most of them are already enjoyed by the people of Central Sulawesi.

Those products include diesel engine power plant with a capacity of 1 mega watt, a unit of mini-hydro power plat, a health center building and its equipment, ten motorcycles for the health center as well as food packages to the local people living in the vicinity of the project site.(*)

Editor: Jafar M Sidik
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