"The presence of the packing plant in Sorong, West Papua, is strengthening the company`s existence and business expansion in Papua. This is part of the strategy for the company to get closer to its consumers," the company`s president director Dwi Soetjipto said in a press statement here on Friday.
He said cement markets in Papua and Maluku are growing fast saying in 2012 cement sales in the two eastern regions reached 1.22 tons up by 54.8 percent from 790,000 tons in the year before.
He said the growth of cement sales in the two regions had been the highest in the country with sales growth in Java in 2012 recorded at only 14.6 percent, in Sulawesi 16.6 percent, Kalimantan 21.3 percent and Nusa Tenggara 13.9 percent.
He said however that in volume sales in Papua and Maluku were still minimum compared to those of other regions like Java, Kalimantan, Sumatra or Sulawesi.
The high growth in Papua and Maluku however has shown the market potential of the regions, he said.
He said the rotary packer packing plant in Sorong has a capacity of cement in bulk reached 120 tons per hour and is also competed with a pier with a capacity of 10,000 DWT.
The silo functions as a cement collection center before packing is done, he added.
He said investment for the project reached Rp162 billion.
"We hope the presence of the packing plant would have a big multiplier effect for the economic development in the region through tax and retributions that we pay, employment and increasing demand for other goods and services such as restaurants, tourism, property development, creative industry and other supporting industries. These all will help improve the quality of the local people`s economy and buying power," he said.
Until now PT Semen Indonesia has operated 19 packing plants spreading in Aceh, Belawan, Padang, Dumai and Batam in Sumatra, Ciwandan in West Java, Tanjung Priok in Jakarta, Tuban, Gresik and Banyuwangi in East Java, Banjarmasin, Samarinda and Celukan Bawang in Kalimantan, Tonasa, Makassar, Palu and Bitung in Sulawesi, Ambon in Maluku and Sorong in Papua.
Two more packing plants are now still being built namely in Banjarmasin and Balikpapan in Kalimantan.
"The company is and will continue increasing the packing plants to reduce logistical cost to make the price of its cement product more affordable. By 2015 we hope we will have had 28 packing plants," he said.