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A unit of Russia’s Solway Industries commits to invest $3 billion to build a nickel smelting plant

Senior officials of Russia’s Solway Industries said Monday one of the firm’s units is committed to investing $3 billion to build a nickel smelting plant in Halmahera, North Maluku. Gita Wirjawan, the head of the Investment Coordination Board (BKPM), said Solway Industries plans to construct a nickel smelter with a capacity of 150,000 tons per year.


Speaking to Dow Jones Newswires, the chief reiterated that Solway plans to build the smelter this year, adding that the firm expects groundbreaking to take place in the first half of the year. Currently, Solway boasts holding a number of exploration concessions in Indonesia. The concession in Halmahera is estimated to contain about 114 million tons of high-quality nickel ore.


Indonesia’s has three nickel smelters controlled by state-owned company Aneka Tambang. They produce more than 18,000 tons of ferro-nickel, an alloy that contains up to 45 percent nickel, each year. The state as well produces nickel matte, which is more than 75 percent pure nickel, from a smelter operated by Inco, which has an annual capacity of 72,500 tons.


According to Indonesian Minister for the Economy, the Russian firm’s investment is in line with the country’s bid to increase the value of its natural resource exports. Hatta said Russia currently buys nickel ore.


Solway Investment Group comprises a number of diversified companies with core activities in mining, non-ferrous metals, chemicals, the cement industry and real estate. They include Solway Investment Fund, the predecessor of Solway Investment Group, founded in 2002 by several international investors.


The Group’s main business is being conducted in Russia, the CIS countries, Central and Eastern Europe, Latin America and Australasia. The Group is managed by the Board of Directors consisting of the incumbent management and shareholders’ representatives. Solway Industries which has been operating in Central and Eastern Europe since 1992 laid the basis for industrial investments of Solway Investment Group.


Acting as a strategic investor, the Group aims to achieve high gains via direct participation in metal, mineral and energy projects. The Group however also participates in equity placements of listed companies that hold the majority ownership of a given project in case if such an asset is deemed to represent a sound investment opportunity. Solway Investment Group also participates in refinancing and expansion opportunities arising in connection with existing operations that have the potential for further growth.


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