Jakarta (ANTARA) - Agroindustry solution company Petrokimia Gresik, operating as a member of state-owned enterprise of Pupuk Indonesia, said it is collaborating with two other companies for the establishment of a Soda Ash or Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) Factory.
According to a statement received here on Friday, Petrokimia Gresik, PT Garam (Persero) and Unilever Asia Pte Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MoU) on Thursday (September 2, 2021).
The agreement was signed virtually by production director of Petrokimia Gresik, Digna Jatiningsih, and president director of PT Garam (Persero), Achmad Ardianto, in Gresik, Indonesia, and inorganics procurement director of Unilever Asia Pte Ltd, Pratistha Garg, in Pasir Panjang, Singapore.
“The cooperation with PT Garam is a form of SOE synergy to increase the national economy which follows the government’s direction,” president director of Petrokimia Gresik, Dwi Satriyo Annurogo, had said on a separate occasion.
He revealed that the Soda Ash Factory capacity has reached 300 thousand tons per year and it is planned to start operating by the end of 2024 as the first one of its kind in Indonesia.
The presence of the factory is therefore deemed essential and has become a transformative breakthrough in supporting the advancement of the national chemical industry.
“This is a huge opportunity, Soda Ash of Petrokimia Gresik will meet the needs of the domestic market and it does not close the possibility of serving the needs of the global market,” Annurogo said.
Soda Ash is a raw material used for making various products, including soaps, detergents, papers, textiles, ceramics, glassworks, as well as its derivatives, and other products.
The demand for Soda Ash is therefore considerably high in Indonesia, although 100 percent of it is being met by imports, the statement said.
Annurogo further said that the Soda Ash produced by Petrokimia Gresik will be more environmentally friendly as it uses CO2 as raw material that comes from the chemical reaction process in urea fertilizer production, rather than from the combustion of fossil fuels.
Furthermore, for Unilever Asia, the establishment of the factory is an important addition to the industrial structure in Indonesia, as it will utilize local sourcing for Soda Ash, he said.
The MoU signing also supports the Indonesian government’s road map for achieving the 35-percent import substitution target in 2022 and reducing import dependence on capital goods and raw materials. (*)