Update News October 18, 2017

In The News

PLN to Change Electricity Supply Plan
TEMPO.CO 18 October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - State-power company PLN plans to revise its power supply business plan (RUPTL) for 2017-2026, because the current sales target set out in the plan is deemed unrealistic.

PLN's director of corporate planning Syofvi Felienty Roekman said that today's condition is not as they expected when launching the 35,000 MW program.

According to Syofvi, since the 35,000 W program was launched, electricity sales growth has been lower than the RUPTL's target of 8.3 percent per year. Because of the changes in consumption growth, the target must be revised.

Read: PLN Signs Clean Energy Sales Contracts

Electricity sales as per September grew 3.1 percent with a volume of 163.6 terawatt-hours (tWh), far below last year's 7.1 percent growth (yoy) with a volume of 158.6 tWh.

Syofvi said that the program's capacity target will remain the same, and only the schedule will be changed. The construction of several power plants will be rescheduled to prevent electricity surpluses to increase.

Sometime ago, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan asked PLN to adjust its RUPTL. Jonan wants to have new power plants with a total capacity of 17,000 MW by 2019. Additional capacities of up to 35,000, according to Jonan, can be realized in 2024.

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Indonesia, Saudi to draft new term on migrant workers
ANTARA News  18 October 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Manpower Minister, M Hanif Dhakiri, and the Saudi Arabian Social Development Minister, Ali Bin Nasser Al-Ghufais, have signed an agreement on drafting a new term to regulate the migrant workers. 

The pact, which was inked in Jeddah on Monday, covers some crucial issues, including the issuance of working visa, the removal of domestic workers, the establishment of new seven positions for the domestic sector, as well as the 24-hour protection scheme. 

During the meeting, the two states also agreed that the Indonesian representatives on manpower would have the authority to assist its expatriates whenever they have legal problems in Saudi Arabia. 

The manpower minister remarked that the agreement was part of the two countries commitments to resolve some issues on migrant workers. 

Although the two countries have agreed to draft the new term, the Indonesian government would not revoke the moratorium of sending the migrant workers to Saudi Arabia. 

"The moratorium of sending the Indonesian domestic workers to Saudi Arabia would not be revoked, because this was the best decision for us. We have committed to set up a new system that establishes some new positions for the migrant labors," Dhakiri remarked. 

Hence, the Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Agus Maftuh Abegebriel, suggested that all Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia should be named as expatriates. 

"We are not just seeking to change names, but this measure aims to improve the quality and the capability of all Indonesian citizens who work overseas," Dhakiri stated. 

The manpower minister revealed that the international market was one of the best options to improve the wellbeing of Indonesian people.

The migrant workers, he added, would also have opportunities to promote Indonesia to the international market. Hence, the authority has a responsibility to enhance the workers competency, Dhakiri added. 

Meanwhile, during a similar occasion, Abegebriel noted that the two countries are committed to comprehensively solve the migrant workers issues. 

"By this far, all problems on migrant workers were partially resolved," the ambassador stated. 

The ambassador added that he had spoken to his counterpart, the Saudi Arabias manpower minister, to halt any forms of violations to the Indonesian expatriates. 

"I have asked our counterpart in Saudi Arabia to guarantee the protection of the Indonesian expatriates," Abegebriel explained. 

Following the agreement, the Indonesian labor empowerment director general, Maruli Apul Hasoloan, elaborated that the two countries manpower ministries would draft the technical procedures of regulating the Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. 

In the next six months, the special teams would report to the manpower ministries, he revealed. 

"The moratorium (of sending the domestic workers) is still applied, although we have set a deal with our counterparts in Saudi Arabia. Further details would be discussed later by the special teams of two countries," he reiterated. (*)

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Indonesia`s exports to non-traditional markets begin to increase
ANTARA News  18 October 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesias exports to non-traditional markets have begun increasing, as part of the effort to expand the export market for its commodities, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said.

"President (Joko Widodo) has instructed us to open non-traditional markets. (The exports to the non-traditional markets) have begun to increase significantly although we have not signed trade contracts with them," he told a press conference held to commemorate three years of President Widodo and Vice President Jusuf Kallas administration.

With the opening of the non-traditional markets, the government has expressed hope that Indonesias export performance will rely not only on traditional markets but also on non-traditional markets.

Indonesias exports fell 3.51 percent to US$14.54 billion in September 2017 from $15.22 billion a month earlier, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS). 

Despite the drop, the BPS noted that exports to non-traditional markets has recorded relatively high growth, with the exports to Turkey increasing 17.22 percent and Egypt 44.33 percent year-on-year.

"In addition, we also have encouraged local companies to invest in several countries (of export destination). Of course, the investment will have an impact on exports," he stated. 

The investment by the national companies in the countries of export destinations will hopefully improve the countrys export performance, the minister noted.

The raw materials used to produce goods in the countries of investment destination will mostly come from Indonesia, he added. 

Indonesias exports in the January-September 2017 period reached $123.36 billion, up 17.36 percent compared to the same period last year, the BPS remarked.

During the January-September 2017 period, Indonesia recorded a foreign trade surplus of $10.57 billion, with exports reaching $123.36 billion and imports totaling $112.49 billion. The surplus was recorded at $6.41 billion in the same period last year.(*)

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Indonesia, Belarus improve bilateral cooperation
ANTARA News 18 October 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Belarus are committed to enhance their bilateral cooperation for the benefit of the communities of both countries.

The two countries discussed efforts to increase bilateral cooperation at the Sixth Session of the Intergovernmental Indonesian-Belarus Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation, which will be held on Oct 17 and Oct 18 in Jakarta.

"This is a very important bilateral mechanism that we have, in addition to bilateral political consultation. Of course, your presence here signifies your commitment. Our meeting here is certainly a reflection of our shared commitment to enhance bilateral relations as well as to expand and deepen our bilateral cooperation," Director General of American and European Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia Muhammad Anshor said 9630 during the session, Jakarta, on Tuesday.

He stated that the meeting would explore new creative ways to improve relations and cooperation between Indonesia and Belarus to a high level.

"This meeting provides us a good opportunity to reflect to where we are now and the progress that we have achieved in our bilateral relations," he noted.

In addition to finding new ways of enhancing cooperation between the two countries, Anshor remarked that the meeting will also explore any challenges faced in enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation.

"Of course, we can identify if there are any challenges or obstacles for our bilateral engagement and how we find the solution to address the challenges for our better cooperation," he added.

He revealed that the interests of Indonesia and Belarus involved many areas, including trade and economy.

According to information from the official website of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in the Republic of Indonesia, the volume of trade between the two countries increased from $1.8 million in 1995 to 193.7 million in 2015.

Belarus exports potassium, caprolactam, tires, and polyamide to Indonesia, while Indonesia exports natural rubber, processed fish products, fiber optic, palm oil and coconut, medicines, paper, tobacco, dyestuff, printer, tin, furniture, cocoa, shoes, and others to Belarus. Indonesias exports to Belarus include about 200 commodity items.

The Session of the Intergovernmental Indonesian-Belarus Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was established with the first hearing of the commission in February 2008.

The chairmen of the commission are the Director General of the American and European Affairs of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and Deputy Minister of the Republic of Belarus. (*)

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No delay on plant auctions, other works: PLN
The Jakarta Post 17 October 2017

Despite the financial issues that PLN is facing, the state-owned electricity firm has said it will not delay any of its plant auctions allocated for the government's ambitious 35,000-megawatt electricity project.

A letter by Finance Minister Sri Mulyani to PLN, which was leaked to the press last month, highlighted PLN’s financial risk and that it is currently saddled with Rp 296 trillion (US$22.9 billion) in debt amid its effort to finish the 10,000-megawatt projects.

PLN corporate planning director Syofvi Felienty Roekman said they would proceed with their auction plans as scheduled, even though she did not elaborate on how many auctions were left this year and whether they would be for fossil or renewable energy-based plants.

"We will still go on with the auctions," Syofvi said on the sidelines of a PLN exhibition at the firm’s headquarters in Jakarta on Tuesday. "However, there will be adjustments to the targets for the auctions."

She also brushed off concerns about other delays in PLN's work, but said that the firm would nevertheless take the country's energy usage into account. "Everything is still within our electricity procurement business plan, but we will review it according to the growth of Indonesia's energy use," she added. (ags)

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Sinar Mas starts construction of 200 MW power plant in C. Kalimantan
The Jakarta Post 18 October 2017

Diversified business group Sinar Mas is getting more deeply involved in the energy business with its 2x100 megawatt (MW) steam-power plant, PLTU Kalteng-1, starting construction in Tumbang Kajuei village, Gunung Mas regency, Central Kalimantan.

The plant, developed by Sinar Mas' indirect subsidiary PT SKS Listrik Kalimantan (SLK) officially began construction on Monday on a 20-hectare plot, and is expected to be complete by 2019, said SLK president director Lokita Prasetya.

"Currently, we are working on the foundation of the boiler, turbines, et al. In the near future, we will proceed with the mechanical work," he said in a statement on Monday, adding that the plant would supply electricity mainly to the regency and other regions in Central Kalimantan.

Marwinsyah Ganef, a representative from state-run electricity firm PLN, said the construction was part of the independent power producer (IPP) involvement in the government's 35,000-megawatt generation project.

"We support the construction of this plant by providing and establishing a transmission grid to the nearby towns of Kasongan and Kuala Kurun," he said.

Gunung Mas Regent Anton S. Dohong welcomed the project, saying that he expected the plant to further increase the living standards of nearby residents as well as boosting the regency's economy.

Currently, Sinar Mas, through its parent company PT Dian Swastatika Sentosa, is developing three power plants. Aside from PLTU Kalteng-1, they also own 300-MW PLTU Sumsel-5 in South Sumatra and 100-MW PLTU Kendari-3 in Southeast Sulawesi. (ags)

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Effective Dining Table Diplomacy Introduced by Susi Pudjiastuti
TEMPO.CO 18 October 2017

TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Throughout her career as the Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Susi Pudjiastuti recounted her approach towards her ongoing attempt in eradicating foreign fishing vessels from Indonesian waters.

One of her most notable strategies was to execute a diplomacy which she dubbed as the ‘dining table diplomacy’, which is where Minister Susi invites and discusses political matters with a representative from the country that is involved in illegal fishing activities to sit together at a dinner.

“I had a six-hour lunch with an ambassador representative and discussed the moratorium on foreign boats in Indonesia,” she recalled in a public lecture held at Universitas Indonesia’s Faculty of Law on Tuesday, October 17.

Minister Susi Pudjiastuti remembered of having a heated negotiation with Ambassadors from China, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, and Australia. During the ‘dinner diplomacy’, she revealed that she positioned herself as a Minister and a businesswoman rather than as a diplomat and asserted to implement the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing regulation or IUUF.

Susi claims that she succeeded in obtaining a collective agreement with the foreign ambassadors in banning around 1,300 foreign boats from operating in Indonesian waters. She also warned operators and owners of the foreign fishing boats that they either follow her rules or face the Indonesian Navy.

Two years after the foreign fishing vessel moratorium was implemented, Minister Susi Pudjiastuti claims that fish supplies have increased by six million tons, totaling to 12.5 million tons in 2017 alone.

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Indonesia Needs to Catch Up in R&D to Compete in Global Market: Luhut
The Jakarta Globe 18 October 2017

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has urged the country to develop its own electric cars in the future in a bid to compete in the global market, Maritime Affairs Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said on Tuesday (17/10).

Indonesia has the capacity to produce electric cars because the country boasts an abundant amount of natural resources, including materials for making lithium batteries used in electric cars that have been exported, Luhut said without elaborating.

"The president has ordered to stop [exporting lithium batteries]. We want to make our own [electric cars]. We are now collecting great young people of this nation […] in cooperation with the Bandung Institute of Technology [ITB]," Luhut said in Jakarta.

The minister said the use of carbon-emission sources will decline in the future, while the use of renewable energy related products will increase.

"Didn’t you realize that the price of renewable energy related products has gone down? In fact, if we look at the price of solar panels, they used to be in double digits, now it’s in single digits," Luhut said.

He said the country has been left behind in terms of research and technology.

"I leave it to all of you to focus on developing in technology so that we do not become a market for high technology products from other countries. I think this is more important," the minister said.

Indonesia has set automotive sales as one of its economic growth indicators.

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Qatar’s Emir to Visit Indonesia to Strengthen Business Relationship
The Jakarta Globe 18 October 2017

Jakarta. Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani is scheduled to visit Indonesia on Oct. 17-18 to try to strengthen relationship between the two countries, especially in the business sector, an Indonesian official confirmed on Friday (13/10).

This is a return visit by the Emir after President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo visited Qatar in September 2015.

"The most important agenda during the Emir's visit will be his one-on-one meeting with President Jokowi to discuss various topics, especially economic partnerships," Sunarko, the Middle East director general at Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry said during a media briefing in Jakarta.

The Emir will bring along an entourage of 43 delegations which include businessmen from various sectors including energy, trade and investment.

A business forum is set to be held in Jakarta on Oct. 18 for the Qatar delegations and 150 Indonesian businessmen to discuss possible business agreements.

"Qatar is a country with considerable economic potential and a large energy capacity [so] we're hoping for profitable agreements," Sunarko said.

Last year, bilateral trade between Qatar and Indonesia amounted to approximately $900 million. Indonesia exported automotive products, furniture and textiles to Qatar, while its import from the Middle East country was dominated by oil.

The two countries will also discuss partnerships in health, culture, youth and sport, and air transport during the Emir's visit, the official said.

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Luhut reiterates RI`s stance on Freeport
ANTARA News 18 October 2017

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, has reiterated Indonesias stance regarding the divestment of PT Freeport Indonesia, during his meeting with the US Secretary of Commerce, Wilbur Ross.

Luhut told journalists here on Tuesday that Ross had asked him to have a talk, on the sideline of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting in Washington DC last week.

"The talk focused on Freeport issues. I told him that I have worked in coordination with the Energy and Mineral Resource Minister and Finance Minister and that the 51 percent divestment is not negotiable. It is the right of the Indonesian government," he stated.

The next problem is to determine whether the divestment should be finalized in 2019 or 2021.

"The second issue is on smelter, and the third issue is on management. Once we have the 51 percent (of shares), it would be fully managed by the government. He did not have any problem with that," he added.

Luhut remarked that he did not hold any talk with the President and CEO of McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., Richard C. Adkerson, although the later had also attended the event.

"I did not meet him. There was a US-Indo meeting and Adkerson was there, but I did not talk to him. It was the Secretary of Commerce who asked for the meeting, and he was happy with my explanation," Luhut revealed. (*)

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