TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian Cement Association is optimistic that Indonesia could grow into Asia's largest cement producer by 2017, as eight new production plants with a combined capacity of 24 million tonnes are set to begin operations in the next two years.
After meeting with President Joko Widodo, the Chairman of the Indonesian Cement Association, Widodo Santoso, explained that sales of cement is expected to grow by two percent to 61,08 million tonnes in 2015 - up from 2014 sales figures that stood at 59,9 million tonnes.
"I am sure that demand will continue to rise as many of the government's large-scale infrastructure projects are set to commence in February next year - as such, a five percent increase is easily within reach," said Santoso at the President's Office on Monday, September 28.
Santoso said that the growth in demand is accompanied by the increase of Indonesia's national production output - it is known that Indonesia currently produces around 65 million tonnes of cement annually. In 2015, four new production plants are slated to commence their operations, while four others are set to begin churning out cement in 2016. Combined, all eight plants could produce an additional 24 million tonnes of cement per year.
"By 2017, we are set to become Asia's largest cement producer. Previously, the industry was dominated by Vietnam and Thailand - by next year, we should be able to cement Indonesia's position as an industry leader," said Santoso.
The four plants that will begin operations in 2015 are owned by Bosowa Cement, Holcim, Merah Putih Cement, and Pan Asia Cement - all of these plants combined will add some 11-12 million tonnes of cement per year to the market.
"This additional capacity will allow us to export a minimum of five million tonnes - quite a significant addition that could help Indonesia boost its' trade balance," said Santoso.