Samsung to build biodiesel plant in Indonesia

Samsung Group intends to invest $1.63 billion to develop a 25,000-hectare oil palm plantation and biodiesel plant in Indonesia's Riau province.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 23 -- Samsung Group intends to invest $1.63 billion to develop a 25,000-hectare oil palm plantation and biodiesel plant in Indonesia's Riau province.

"They bought the land recently, and that was their first investment. The total investment will likely increase by 10 times," said Al Hilal Hamdi, who heads Indonesia's national team for biofuel development.

Hamdi, who claimed that Samsung had spent 1.5 trillion rupiah on acquiring the land and the plant, said the facility was expected to go online in 2009 and would produce 50,000 kl./year of biodiesel.

Indonesia currently produces two types of biofuel: bioethanol made from cassava, sugarcane, and sorghum; and biodiesel, which is made from castor and crude palm oil.

Output of both types is expected to increase greatly after October when Indonesia plans to impose a new regulation requiring that at least 2.5% of fuel consumed by manufacturers is comprised of biofuel.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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