Frst marine to set up seaweed processing plant in Bontang

Bontang, East Kalimantan (ANTARA News) - PT First Marine, a seaweed powder company in Makassar, plans to set up a factory in Bontang, East Kalimantan, following its success in testing seaweed culture in Gusing, Bontang city waters.

"As an initial step the Bontang city administration has met three times with the president director of PT First Marine Makassar, Masayuki Yamamoto, who in more than a year has experimented seaweed culture and the result was good with its quality being the best in Indonesia," deputy mayor Isro Umarghani said here on Saturday.

He said six locations had been identified to be used for developing seaweed.

"The cooperation pattern is still being sought, based on mutual benefit. It could be based on a nucleus-plasm system involving fishermen`s groups or company to buy wet seaweed and later sells in dry form," he said.

In the talks with Yamamoto a drying engine had been introduced which could dry seaweed within a day.

"Dried seaweed after being cut into chips sells at Rp45,000 per kilogram while dried seaweed so far was sold at only Rp6,500 per kilo," he said.

If they are serious a fisherman with 15 lines would be able to feed his family. The number of fishermen in Bontang is now recorded at 230 to 250 families.

Isro hoped seaweed could become the people`s economic driver moreover the quality of seaweed of Bontang was the best in Indonesia.

"The Bontang city administration has been very serious and already prepared pre-feasibility study. Efforts are being made this year to increase seaweed production and six locations have been found to develop seaweed farming," he said.