The Indonesian unit of Lafarge SA is to resume production next year at a plant almost completely destroyed by the 2004 tsunami, a company official said on Wednesday.
About 80 per cent of PT Semen Andalas Indonesia’s facilities in the city of Lhoknga in Aceh province were destroyed when the Boxing Day tsunami struck the province in December 2004. Around 200 of its 625 employees were missing or dead as a result of the catastrophe.
Marcel Cobuz, president director of Semen Andalas, said the plant was being rebuilt and expected to start production in September next year.
Semen Andalas plans to increase the production capacity of the cement unit to 1.6Mta from 1.3Mt before the tsunami. It will also build a new 30MW coal-fired power plant to support the plant’s operations.
"We designed this plant to serve the domestic market. We are not only selling in Aceh, but we are also selling in North Sumatra and Batam," Cobuz told reporters after meeting Vice President Jusuf Kalla.
"This is fast-growing market in Indonesia."
The cost of rebuilding Semen Andalas’ cement factory is expected to reach US$150m, and Andalas has earlier said it hopes to wrap up the project by the first quarter of 2008.