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Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Bahlil Lahadalia visited the project site of the Soda Ash Factory owned by Petrokimia Gresik, an Agroindustry Solutions company member of the Pupuk Indonesia holding, Friday (10/9).

This visit is a form of government support for the acceleration of the construction of the Soda Ash or Sodium Carbonate (Na2CO3) Factory, considering that this factory will be the first in Indonesia to strengthen the national chemical industry.

Minister Bahlil said that the support for the acceleration of the Petrokimia Gresik Soda Ash Factory was in accordance with the instructions of the President of the Republic of Indonesia so that his party should help state-owned companies or national private companies that produce imported substitute products. This is in line with the Petrokimia Gresik Soda Ash Factory which will reduce dependence on imports.

"So far, the national demand for Soda Ash reaches 1 million tons a year, and all of that is met from imports. I came here to ensure that this project proceeds," he said.

He hopes that other SOEs can also optimize their industrial by-products to provide added value, as has been done by Petrokimia Gresik through a related diversified industry strategy. Where the Soda Ash Factory will utilize downstream products from the Ammonia-Urea factory in the form of CO2 which is processed into raw materials for making Soda Ash. This effort will increase the income of SOEs and the benefits will continue to the community.

"Therefore, we will encourage the construction of the Petrokimia Gresik Soda Ash Factory, both in terms of fiscal incentives and licensing policies," he said.

Meanwhile, President Director of Petrokimia Gresik, Dwi Satriyo Annurogo, revealed that during the preparation stage of the Soda Ash Plant project, Petrokimia Gresik always coordinates with the Ministry of Investment in terms of licensing and administration.

"Alhamdulillah, we always get full support from the Ministry of Investment / BKPM so that Insha Allah the investment project, which is planned to be built on the 20-hectare Petrokimia Gresik land, can be implemented," he said.

The Soda Ash factory with a capacity of 300 thousand tons per year which is targeted to operate by the end of 2024 is one of Petrokimia Gresik's implementations in an effort to support the improvement of the national economy, especially the chemical industry.

So far, the need for domestic soda ash is very high as the main raw material for various products that we encounter daily, such as soap, detergent, paper, textiles, ceramics, glass, glass and their derivatives and so on.

“So the market share is very large, especially for the domestic market. However, it is possible that Soda Ash Petrokimia Gresik can also serve the needs of the global market," concluded Dwi Satriyo.