Sat, 27 Jun 2009
Alfian, THE JAKARTA POST, JAKARTA

The energy and mining sector secured about US$5.38 billion of inward investment in the first quarter of this year; about 21.19 percent of the $25 billion targeted for 2009.

Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Purnomo Yusgiantoro said that the investment realized in the first quarter did not necessarily represent the full year annual trend.

"Investment expenditure is dynamic following companies needs. They may spend less in the first quarter, and boost spending in the next quarter," Purnomo told lawmakers on Thursday from the House of Representatives Commission VII overseeing energy and mining.

Of the $5.38 billion of investment booked in quarter one of 2009, the oil and gas sector contributed $3.35 billion. The sector is expected to attract a total of $16.64 billion investment in 2009.

Evita H. Legowo, director general for oil and gas at the ministry, said that, of the $3.35 billion investment booked for the oil and gas sector, as much as $2.96 billion went to upstream $392 million to the downstream side of the industry.

Evita said the 20 percent growth for investment in oil and gas in the first quarter was normal. "It's just like in the state budget, the companies spend a bit slower in the first quarter and increase their spending in the next quarters," Evita said.

Mining and geothermal projects, combined secured $251.43 million in the first quarter of this year, or about 12 percent of $2.15 billion, the total investment targeted in 2009.

Lawmakers expressed concern on the potential investment losses in mining as Australia-based BHP Billiton, the world's largest mining company, has announced that it is planning to pull out of Indonesia. Earlier this month, BHP said it had decided to stop the development of the pilot project Haju mine, one of seven mines under the umbrella of the company's broad ranging Maruwai coal project in Central Kalimantan.

Aside from canceling the Haju mine development, BHP has also decided to stop a feasibility study of the Lampunut Block, another mine in the Maruwai project, while putting its activity in five other areas in the project under review.

Electricity projects attracted $1.78 billion investment in the first quarter, or about 26.93 percent of $6.61 billion, the latter being the total forecast for inward investment expected from the electricity sector in 2009.

From ministry reports, no investment in renewable energy (other than geothermal) has been secured in the first quarter this year. The report said some renewable energy projects were still being tendered.



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