Thu, 18 Jan 2007
Indonesia is laying the foundation to become one of the world's top bio-fuel producers, with 59 energy firms and institutions inking 58 agreements on Tuesday (9/01/07) as their preliminary commitment to invest $12.4 billion in the renewable energy sector, The Jakarta Post reported.

The biggest single investment will come from China's major energy firm, CNOOC, which will team up with Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology and Hong Kong Energy (Holdings) Ltd to invest $5.5 billion to develop bio-diesel from crude palm oil and bio-ethanol from sugarcane or cassava in Papua and Kalimantan.

Other major deals include one signed by Malaysia-based Genting Biofuels Asia for an investment of $3 billion, and another for a joint Indonesian-Malaysian venture involving an investment of $1 billion.

Tuesday's signing ceremony also involved a number of financial firms, including local banks, which have committed to provide Rp50 trillion ($5.4 billion) in loans to support the country's green energy fund.

The banks -- Bank Rakyat Indonesia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Bukopin, the West Sumatra regional development bank and the North Sumatra regional development bank -- have committed to extend loans of up to Rp25 trillion for the development of plantations and Rp25 trillion for the building of processing plants.



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