By Mohd Iswandi Kasan Anuar
JAKARTA, Feb 19 -- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged to continue its strong support for Indonesia’s energy transition initiative through its financial facilitation.
Its president, Masatsugu Asakawa reaffirmed his commitment during a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, popularly known as Jokowi, at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Friday.
“ADB has expressed support for financing the energy transition and other financing for several ongoing projects,” Indonesian Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa said.
The regional development bank is currently financing 14 ongoing projects, he said in a statement today, adding that Indonesia and the bank have worked together for 55 years.
ADB, on Feb 17, approved a US$150 million loan to support the country’s green infrastructure projects to help the country reach the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Indonesia is speeding up the clean energy transition towards net-zero emissions by 2060 through development of renewable energy, energy conservation, and use of clean energy technology.
The country has launched a 16,000-hectare green industrial park in Bulungan Regency, North Kalimantan province in December last year.
Solar power plants and hydropower plants will power the park, setting the model for future green industrial parks development to support the country's energy transition.
The park, a partnership between Indonesia, China, and United Arab Emirates investors, aimed at attracting high-tech and precision companies such as solar panels, green aluminum and lithium-ion batteries.
Suharso, who also joined the meeting, said ADB praised the republic’s authorities for having recorded good economic performance throughout 2021.
Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest economy, expanded 3.69 per cent in 2021 from a year earlier, rebounding from a 2.07 per cent contraction in 2020 as consumption and public mobility recovered.
At the meeting, Jokowi briefed ADB on the country’s economic development through downstream industries by, among others, halting raw material export.
“The president is confident that the development of downstream industries will increase minerals value before exporting and improve the country’s current account balance,” Suharso said.
Jokowi has identified three areas to boost economic growth, namely the green economy, digitalisation of micro, small and medium enterprises, and development of downstream industries.
The country focuses on processing commodities into ready-to-use products this year, starting from raw nickel into products such as stainless steel and electric car batteries to add value to the commodity.
Last November, Jokowi said Indonesia could generate US$35 billion of added value by refining more nickel domestically rather than shipping raw material overseas.
The nickel industrial strategy has already begun with the partnership between state-owned enterprise, Indonesia Battery Corporation and South Korea’s LG Group-led consortium with the value of US$9.8 billion.
Indonesia holds 21 million tonnes of nickel, the largest reserve in the world.
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