Wed, 24 Oct 2007
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Iceland is seeking opportunities to invest in geothermal development in Indonesia, an Indonesian official said.

"They are offering cooperation to develop geothermal-based energy projects," Industry Minister Fahmi Idris said after accompanying President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in receiving Iceland`s Minister of Industries Ossum Skarphedinsson here on Tuesday.

Iceland had expertise in geothermal development, he said.

Iceland which was one of world`s poor countries when the second world war broke out now had a per capita income of US$44,000 and become one of the rich countries because of its success in developing geothermal industries, he said.

Fahmi said at the meeting with President Yudhoyono Minister Skarphedinsson disclosed six companies in his country had expressed an interest in investing in Indonesia.

He said Iceland also expressed interest in processing bauxite ore imported from Australia in Indonesia using geothermal energy.

"So far they ship the commodity to Iceland. That is too far. Now they are thinking of processing it in Indonesia. The strategic location for it is naturally in the eastern region which is close to Australia," he said.

Fahmi said there had not been any further discussion about it but he still had to receive Minister Skarphedinsson at his office on Wednesday.

In the Indonesia-Iceland Geothermal Forum in Reykjavik on September 12-13, the two countries wished they would have had concrete cooperation in the field of geothermal development in Indonesia at the time when they commemorated the 25th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.

The two countries will make geothermal development one of the priorities for cooperation because of their large geothermal potentials.

While 72 percent of electricity need in Iceland is supplied by geothermal energy the use of the energy in Indonesia is still only around three percent of the country`s potential which is the largest in the world ,namely around 40 percent.(*)



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