Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – A senior government official on Monday revealed a global company is looking to invest in a petrochemical plant in Indonesia. However, not much is known about the project except for the fact that Indonesia's large carbon storage capacity was what got the mysterious investor hooked.
"I cannot say much on this. But there is a major global company that is eyeing to construct its petrochemical plant for plastics in Indonesia," Jodi Mahardi, a deputy at the Coordinating Ministry for Investment and Maritime Affairs, told a news briefing in Jakarta on Monday.
"It is because they wish to have a CCS [carbon capture and storage] site close to their production plant. So they can set up a net-zero petrochemical industry," Jodi said, without going into details.
Jodi did not reveal the investor's country of origin, neither the estimated value of the investment, nor the plant's location.
But as for the CCS potential that caught the investor's attention, Jodi said Indonesia could store up to 400 gigatons of carbon in its saline aquifers and depleted reservoirs. Indonesia is currently exploring its CCS technology to slash its emissions. The CCS involves capturing carbon and injecting it underground to prevent it from entering the atmosphere. Despite the lack of details, the mysterious investor's plan shows how businesses today are considering climate action before deciding to invest in Indonesia.
"Companies who are planning to invest in Indonesia no longer ask about the project's profitability. They are now asking if it is possible to implement the CCS technology because they want to avoid adding their global emission portfolio," Belladona Troxylon, the executive director of the Indonesia Carbon Capture Storage Center (ICCSC), told the same press conference.
Indonesia has set a goal to attract Rp 1,400 trillion (around $92 billion) in investment throughout this year. Government data shows that the country had amassed Rp 678.7 trillion in investment as of January-June 2023. This shows that Indonesia has achieved an estimated 48.5 percent of its annual target. Singapore became Indonesia's largest foreign investor in the first half of 2023 as the close neighbor put $7.7 billion into 10,726 projects. Followed by China ($3.8 billion) and Hong Kong ($3.5 billion).