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Indonesia on way to become net exporter of petrochemicals
Dec '12
The Government of Indonesia wants the country to become net exporter of petrochemical goods by 2016 from its current status of net importer, and hence it is developing two new upstream petrochemical centres.
Muara Enim in South Sumatra and Bintuni Bay in West Papua have been selected as the sites for the proposed petrochemical industrial centres, Mr. Panggah Susanto, director general for manufacturing-based industry in the Ministry of Industry, said, The Jakarta Post reported.
While the first petrochemical centre would produce methanol, the second centre would also produce polypropylene, in addition to methanol, Mr. Susanto said.
In addition to the two new industrial centres, the Government is also considering setting up of naphtha crackers with annual production capacity of one million tons of ethylene and aromatic plans for production of chemicals such as benzene and toluene – raw materials for production of paraxylene used in the textile sector, he added.
In 2011, Indonesia imported petrochemicals worth US$ 6 billion and the amount is likely to increase by about 10 percent this year, owing to growing demand from the textiles and plastics industries, according to the Ministry of Industry.
The Indonesian Government is providing various incentives, including tax holidays, for setting up new petrochemical plants in the country. 
In collaboration with an overseas firm, state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina is planning to invest about US$ 5 billion for setting up a naphtha cracker.
Recently, South Korean Honam Petrochemical Corp., the second-largest petrochemical producer in Asia, expressed its interest to construct a US$ 5 billion petrochemical complex in Cilegon, Banten.

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