The world's largest copper factory owned by Indonesia presents some intriguing facts. PT Freeport Indonesia's copper smelter, located in the Java Integrated Industrial and Port Estate Special Economic Zone (JIIPE KEK) in Gresik, East Java, is poised to become a game-changer.
With a processing and refining plant capacity of up to 1.7 million tons of copper concentrate per year, it surpasses the production capacity of any other copper smelter globally. For reference, according to Statista data (23/6), the Guixi Smelter owned by Jiangxi Copper Corp, currently the largest copper smelter, has a capacity of 900,000 metric tons per year as of June 2022.
Following the Guixi Smelter, the Birla Copper factory in India and the Toyo factory in Japan rank as the second and third largest copper refining plants worldwide, respectively. Notably, Germany and Chile also feature in this ranking.
On Tuesday (20/6), President Joko Widodo visited the PTFI copper smelter in Gresik to oversee its construction progress. The aim is for the factory to be fully operational by the end of 2024.
There are more captivating facts about this remarkable factory. Let's explore them below.
1. Impressive Investment Value
According to reports from Okezone.com (23/6), PT Freeport Indonesia has invested a staggering USD 2.2 billion, equivalent to IDR 33 trillion as of May 2023, for this project. The total investment in the smelter has reached USD 3 billion, around IDR 45 trillion. The Minister of Investment/Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Bahlil Lahadalia, disclosed these figures during the president's inspection of the PTFI smelter construction in Gresik, East Java.
2. Near Completion
During the same visit, President Jokowi stated that the construction progress of the smelter is nearly 72% complete, with a target for full completion before May 2023. The pre-commissioning and commissioning stages are scheduled for May 2024, followed by operation commencement at the end of May 2024. The project has generated employment for approximately 13,000 people.
3. Surpassing China's Production Capacity
Once operational, the smelter will boast a total copper processing capacity of up to 1.7 million tons and a precious metal refinery with an annual capacity of 6,000. The factory will be capable of producing 600,000 tons of copper, 50 tons of gold, and 210 tons of silver per year.
4. Driving Downstream Development
The Indonesian government envisions PT Freeport Indonesia's smelter as a catalyst for downstream development. Historically, Indonesia has been primarily known as an exporter of raw materials. President Jokowi hopes that the smelter's production will integrate with other mining commodities to create high-value final products.
"This smelter is the foundation for us to become a developed country because, instead of relying solely on consumption, we will now have a production base," affirmed the president.
These are just a few fascinating facts about Indonesia's largest copper factory in the world, which is poised to leave a lasting impact on the industry.
Image source: MNC Media