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The Sudwikatmono Clan in Indonesia’s Coal Industry
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:With the demise of the New Order in 1998, Indonesian business is no longer determined by whoever could get by the backdoor into a house on Jalan Cendana in the exclusive Menteng residential area of central Jakarta. Those who were close to Suharto, occupant of the house and then president of the republic, would now find themselves largely kept at arm’s length by the business community. As Suharto’s first cousin, the late Sudwikatmono managed to build a business empire founded on rubber, film, cement, property, and wheat. The empire collapsed with the fall of Suharto’s New Order. His fortune melted away to pay Rp1.5 trillion in debts owed the government to bailout his ailing Surya Bank. A strong-willed businessman, Sudwikatmono rebounded only two years after the 1998 economic crisis that led to Suharto’s downfall. In 200 he founded Dipta Diwangkara and later, in collaboration with Wiwoho Basuki Tjokronegoro merged the company with Tripatra Engineers & Construction and Tripatra Engineering into Indika Energy, a business group engaged in oil and gas engineering and construction services. Wiwoho was named president and Sudwikatmono’s youngest son Agus Lasmono vice president of Indika Energy. At the same time Arsjad Rasjid was appointed director and Wishnu Wardhana vice director of the company. Both men were fellow students at Pepperdine University in California Wishnu is married to a daughter of Wiwoho. In 2003 Indika turned to coal mining following reports that China was to put 50 percent of its coal in stockpiles. “Our assumptions then were that China would face a problem of supplies and saw this as a business opportunity.” said Arsyad. Indika was looking for such an opportunity when Kideco Jaya Agung, then the third biggest coal company in Indonesia, was in the process of divesting. “We took [part in the tender and won,” said Arsyad. Indika spent US$ 150 million to acquire the South Korean company in a deal that was completed in 2004. Indika didn’t stop with Kodeko. "Two things we did were acquisition of assets for development and acquisition of new areas for exploration,” said Wishnu. In 2012, Indika bought Multi Tambangjaya Utama and Mitra Energi Agung. "Our main focus now is to have Tambangjaya go into production,” said Arsjad. Initially, Tambangjaya is expected to produce 1 million metric tons of coal in 2013. Today Indika’s coal reserves are estimated at 1.8 billion metric tons. Indika aims to be a company engaged in the whole chain of coal-based energy supplies and maintains Tripatra as energy service company. Asa a pillar of the group, Tripatra is strengthened with Indika’s acquisition of Petrosea, a project engineering and management company. Petrosea was bought in 2009 for US$120 million. Last year Indika also acquisitioned Mitrabahtera Segara Sejati, a transportation and logistics services provider. Also, Indika has invested in Cirebon Electric Power, a coal-fired power project built in cooperation with Marubeni Corporation, Komipo-Korea Midland Power Ltd., and Samtan Co. Ltd. ****


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