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Making Freeport Indonesia More Indonesian

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Revrisond Baswir

If we look deeper into the context of PT Freeport Indonesia’s contract amendment, it is related to the issuance of the 2009 mining Law. The law obliges mining companies to process their mining products in this country before exporting them, but Freeport had been in operation and was bound by a contract before the law was implemented.

Talks about adjusting Freeport’s contract to bring it in line with the law have been going on for a long time. The government said an amendment to the contract needed to be made and a deadline was set for Jan. 25 this year. However, due to the transfer of power in October 2014, when President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo took office, the deadline was extended for six months. So, on July 25, the amendment of the contract - not the extension of the contract of work (CoW) - should have been in place.

There were points discussed as preparations were made for the amendment. They included the construction of smelters, an increase in the government’s stake from 9 to 30 percent, the use of local products in Freeport’s operations in Indonesia and issues related to work safety.

Of those sticking points, the construction of smelters is the most crucial. Had the amendment been made, the smelters would have had to have been in place by July 25, or else no amendment could be made. In fact, even up to July 24, there was no clarity on the planned development of smelters in Gresik in East Java or in Papua.

Technically I do not know for sure what the challenges are that Freeport is facing in building the smelters. There seems to be a strong indication that Freeport does not want to amend the contract accordingly because it is already 2015 and the company’s CoW is due to expire in 2021 and any negotiations on a new contract can only begin in 2019 at the earliest The company does not want to make an investment simply for it to be forgotten.

There is a strong impression that Freeport wants to merge its obligation to abide by the law that requires an amendment to the contract with the deadline for renegotiating the CoW. The company wants to make sure that its investment (in building a smelter) will not come to an end in 2021 before it receives a return on the investment.

As far as I can read from the government’s point of view, there is a strong desire on the part of the government to make Freeport Indonesia more Indonesian. The aforementioned points, which were proposed by the government, indicate so. This does not necessarily mean nationalization, which is commonly marked by a takeover.

With regard to the smelter construction, for example, the government cannot just force Freeport to invest. As a business entity it has business calculations to consider with. With regard to the proposed increase in the government’s stake in the company, similarly, the government has to calculate where the money to buy the extra shares will come from and which government institution or state-owned company will conduct the purchase.

With regard to the use of domestic products in Freeport’s operations in Indonesia, the government has to be clear about which products and how to ensure the products meet Free-ports standards. Everything has to be carefully calculated so as not to create new conflicts in the future.

If making Freeport Indonesia more Indonesian is really the target of the Jokowi administration and Freeport trusts the government that its investment will not be terminated and the CoW will be extended, I see no problem. Although the smelters have not yet been constructed, Freeport has allocated US$115 million for the smelters to show its good faith.

When talking about Freeport the key is the CoW. The questions will be what is in the contract and who drafts it As far as we know, the extension of the contract in the past was problematic. It was signed without involving the public. As a result, we know only a little about it, no transfer of technology was stipulated, the Papuan people suffered, etc. What is happening now I think is the new government is trying to make amends for the past mistakes.

To be fair, however, few can deny that Indonesia depends on the extractive Economy. We live by exploiting natural resources. Our problem with the extractive Economy is that almost all the products we extract are for export, while for domestic needs we rely heavily on foreign loans, which must be paid using foreign reserves.

This is a matter of sustainability. If Freeport stops production, the company will not be the only party to suffer losses. Indonesia will also lose one of its income sources. As a consequence, we may not be able to pay our debts; the rupiah will depreciate and so on.

Forcing foreign companies to build smelters and use domestic products in their operations is fine, but it has to be supported by monetary policy in particular. Otherwise, we will be trapped in the so-called backwash effect, in which the money distributed to regions will be reallocated to Jakarta thanks to the centralized monetary system.

In the case of Freeport, if the government is really serious about distributing the cake of development to Papua, it has to oblige Freeport to have its headquarters in Papua rather than in Jakarta It also has to force the company to employ locals as it will automatically empower them. Locals will never be empowered unless they are trained.

The writer is a lecturer at Gadjah Mada University’s school of economics, Yogyakarta.

 Source : The Jakarta Post, July 28, 2015

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Jumat, 31 Juli 2015 04:39 )

Freeport Peroleh Lagi Perpanjangan Izin Ekspor

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Rangga Prakoso

JAKARTA. Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya mineral (ESDM) akhirnya memberikan perpanjangan izin ekspor konsentrat Tembaga untuk ketigakalinya kepada PT Freeport Indonesia. Pemberian izin itu diberikan setelah Freeport memenuhi seluruh persyaratan yang diperlukan.

"Freeport sudah memenuhi persyaratan oleh karena itu kami besok (hari ini) akan terbitkan rekomendasi perpanjangan izin ekspor untuk 6 bulan ke depan. Kuota ekspornya 775.000 ton," kata Direktur Jenderal mineral dan Batubara Kementerian ESDM Bambang Gatot di Jakarta, Senin (27/7).

Bambang menuturkan pihaknya sudah melakukan evaluasi terhadap kemajuan pembangunan fasilitas pengolahan dan pemurnian mineral (smelter) Freeport di Gresik, Jawa Timur. Pasalnya kemajuan smelter selama 6 bulan terakhir menjadi persyaratan utama guna mendapatkan perpanjangan izin ekspor. "Rekomendasi SPE (surat persetujuan ekspor) akan dikirim ke Kementerian Perdagangan untuk ditindaklanjuti," jelasnya Izin ekspor Freeport sebelumnya sudah berakhir pada 25 Juli lalu. Lantaran belum memenuhi persyaratan maka Kementerian ESDM tidak menerbitkan perpanjangan izin ekspor.

Bambang memaparkan, kuota ekspor mencapai 775.000 ton konsentrat Tembaga. Kuota itu diberikan untuk periode enam bulan kedepan. Besaran kuota ini meningkat dibandingkan kuota yang diberikan pada semester kemarin.

Berdasarkan catatan Investor Daily, izin ekspor pertama Freeport diberikan untuk periode 25 Juli 2014 - 26 Januari 2015 dengan kuota ekspor sebesar 756.000 ton konsentrat Tembaga. Izin ekspor kedua diberikan pada 26 Januari 2015 - 25 Juli 2015 dengan kuota ekspor sebesar 580.000 ton konsentrat.

Sementara itu Executive President Public Affair Freeport Indonesia Clementio Lamury menjelaskan kegiatan ekspor dijadwalkan berlangsung pada akhir pekan ini. Dengan begitu perpanjangan izin ekspor yang baru diperoleh tidak akan mengganggu kegiatan ekspor. "Kuota enam bulan lalu belum sepenuhnya terealisasi," ujarnya.

Pengurangan Bea Keluar

Freeport Indonesia mendapatkan pengurangan bea keluar ekspor konsentrat sebesar 5% menyusul tercapainya kemajuan pembangunan smelter mencapai sekitar 11%. Saat ini perusahaan tambang asal Amerika Serikat itu membayar bea keluar sebesar 7,5%. Bambang mengatakan hasil evaluasi kemajuan smelter secara keseluruhan mencapai 11%.

Adapun kemajuan pembangunan itu antara lain pembayaran sewa lahan smelter seluas 80 hektare sebesar US$ 150 juta selama 20 tahun. Namun Bambang bilang pembayaran sewa itu baru sebagian dilakukan. Selain itu Dalam enam bulan terakhir, Freeport telah menyelesaikan early work dan memulai basic engineering sebesar US$ 9 juta serta memulai persiapan perizinan analisis dampak lingkungan (Amdal) konstruksi smelter senilai US$ 1,5 juta. "Jadi secara keseluruhan kemajuan smelter sudah 11%. Otomatis bea keluar bisa turun," ujarnya.

Ketentuan bea keluar ini mengacu pada Peraturan Menteri Keuangan NO.153/PMK.011/2014 tentang Penetapan barang ekspor yang dikenakan bea keluar dan tarif bea keluar. Dalam PMK 153 itu memuat ketentuan apabila kemajuan pembangunan atau serapan dana investasi smelter antara 0-7,5% maka membayar bea keluar yang dibayarkan sebesar 7,5%. Apabila realisasi progres smelter antara 7,5-30% maka membayar bea keluar 5%. Sedangkan progres pembangunan lebih dari 30% maka bea keluar yang dibayar 0%.

Lebih lanjut Bambang menuturkan pihaknya akan menggelar pertemuan dengan Freeport Indonesia guna membahas rencana kerja pembangunan smelter selama 6 bulan ke depan. Dia menyebut Freeport sudah menyampaikan rencana kerja tersebut. "Kami akan bahas yang lebih detail seperti apa. Supaya enam bulan ke depan lebih jelas," ujarnya.

Rencana kerja smelter 6 bulan ke depan merupakan persyaratan yang harus dipenuhi Freeport untuk mendapatkan perpanjangan izin ekspor konsentrat Ketentuan rencana kerja itu tercantum dalam pasal 13 ayat B Peraturan Menteri ESDM No. 11 Tahun 2014 tentang Tata Cara dan Persyaratan Pemberian Rekomendasi Pelaksanaan Penjualan mineral ke Luar Negeri Hasil Pengolahan dan Pemurnian. "Untuk rencana kerja enam bulan ke depan ini akan kami bahas khusus," tegas Bambang.

 Sumber : Investor Daily, 28 Juli 2015

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Jumat, 31 Juli 2015 04:37 )

Freeport Raih Kuota 775.000 Ton

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JAKARTA. PT Freeport Indonesia akan memperoleh rekomendasi izin ekspor konsentrat Tembaga sebanyak 775.000 ton selama enam bulan ke depan.

Kementerian Energi dan Sumber Daya mineral (ESDM) akan memberikan rekomendasi kepada Freeport pada hari ini, Selasa (28/7).

Dirjen mineral dan Batubara Kementerian ESDM Bambag Gatot Ari-yono mengatakan pihaknya telah mencapai kesepakatan dengan Freeport Indonesia. Menurutnya, perusahaan tersebut telah memenuhi kewajiban untuk mendapatkan izin ekspor kembali.

"Pemerintah besok [hari ini] bisa menerbitkan persetujuan ekspor untuk enam bulan ke depan. Kuotanya 775.000 metrik ton," katanya usai melakukan rapat evaluasi dengan Freeport, Senin (27/7).

Terkait realisasi investasi enam bulanan sebagai salah satu syarat, Freeport Indonesia akan segera membayar kekurangan dana sekitar US$20 juta yang akan disetor ke Escrow Account pada hari ini.

Berdasarkan Peraturan Menteri ESDM No. 11/ 2014 tentang Tata Cara dan Persyaratan Pemberian Rekomendasi Pelaksanaan Penjualan mineral ke Luar Negeri Hasil Pengolahan dan Pemurnian, rekomendasi perpanjangan ekspor bisa diberikan apabila pembangunan smelter telah mencapai 60% dari perencanaan maupun penyerapan dana dalam kurun waktu enam bulan terakhir.

Untuk rencana kerja enam bulan ke depan, Bambang juga mengaku sudah menerima dari Freeport dan akan segera melakukan pembahasan lebih lanjut.

Terkait dengan kuota yang diberikan, Bambang mengatakan jumlahnya sesuai dengan permohonan yang diajukan Free-port. Adapun kuota tersebut jauh lebih banyak dari kuota ekspor yang diberikan dalam enam bulan ke belakang yang berakhir 25 Juli 2015 sebanyak 580.000 ton.

Dalam kesempatan yang sama, Excecutive Vice President Public Affairs Freeport Indonesia Clementio Lamury mengatakan jatah ekspor enam bulan lalu tersebut sebenarnya belum digunakan seluruhnya.

"Belum semua terealisasi. Tinggal sedikit aja. Masih ada kekurangan sehingga kita realisasikan ke carry forward."

Pengapalan terakhir Freeport dilakukan pada 25 Juli 2015 bertepatan dengan habisnya izin ekspor periode sebelumnya. Rencananya, mereka akan melakukan pengapalan lagi pada akhir pekan setelah izin ekspor baru diperoleh.

Freeport Indonesia mendapat izin ekspor konsentrat dari Indonesia untuk ketiga kalinya setelah pemerintah memberlakukan larangan ekspor mineral mentah.

Pada periode 26 Januari 2015-25 Juli 2015, Freeport mendapatkan jatah ekspor sebanyak 580.000 ton konsentrat. Enam bulan sebelumnya jatah yang diberikan lebih banyak, yakni mencapai 756.000 ton.

Bambang menyebutkan secara keseluruhan progres pembangunan smelter Freeport mencapai sekitar 11%. (Lucky L. Leatemia)

 Sumber : Bisnis Indonesia, 28 Juli 2015

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Jumat, 31 Juli 2015 04:35 )

Freeport Gets Nod To Renew Export Permit, Pays Lower Duty

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Raras Cahyafitri

JAKARTA. Giant gold and Copper miner PT Freeport Indonesia has received certainty from the Energy and mineral Resources ministry that its export permit, which ended last week, will be extended.

The ministry’s director general for minerals and coal, Bambang Gatot Ariyono, said on Monday evening that his office would soon issue a recommendation that the Trade ministry renew Freeport’s export permit.

The mining giant will also be allowed to pay lower export duty thanks to encouraging progress in the construction of its smelting plant.

"Principally, the company has fulfilled its obligation, its commitment. Therefore, tomorrow, the government can issue a [export permit] recommendation for the next six months," Bambang said.

Under the recommendation, Freeport Indonesia will be allowed to export up to 775,000 tons of Copper concentrate in the next six months.

Freeport Indonesia, a subsidiary of US-based Freeport-McMoRan Inc., saw its export permit expire last Saturday. The company currently produces approximately 2.5 million tons of Copper concentrate per year.

The export permit is necessary for the company to continue shipping its partly processed Copper concentrate despite the government’s implementation of a ban on raw mineral exports in January 2014. Due to a loosening of the export ban, export permits for raw minerals is now possible as long as the company in question shows commitment to making progress on smelter developments and they pay export tax.

The export tax is set at between 0 and 7.5 percent, depending on the progress of smelter development, which is calculated based on the amount of money spent. An export tax of 7.5 percent is imposed on companies whose disbursement is at 0 to 7.5 percent of their total investment in downstream facilities. A 5 percent export duty is applied to a company whose spending is at between 7.5 and 30 percent.

When smelter development spending has progressed past 30 percent, a company is then exempt from export duty.

Bambang said that Freeport Indonesia’s smelter plant had reached about 11 percent, so it would only pay 5 percent in export tax on its Copper concentrate for the next six months. Under its previous two export permits, the company paid 7.5 percent in export duty.

The 11 percent progress consists of spending on basic engineering, land rent and a deposit of US$20 million into an escrow account to be paid by Tuesday, according to Bambang.

To comply with the government downstream policy requirements, Freeport Indonesia is currently working to develop a new smelter in Gresik, East Java, with an estimated investment of $2.3 billion.

Freeport Indonesia executive vice president for public affairs Clementino Lamury said his company expected to be able to ship its Copper concentrate under the new permit soon.

"We hope to export it by the end of the week," he said.

While the export permit will be extended, Freeport Indonesia is currently under the spotlight following its attempt to seek certainty over its operation after the termination of its contract in 2021. Critics have argued that its poor progress in smelter development was also driven by uncertainty regarding its operation after 2021.

It has also drawn criticism following a series of deadly incidents at its mining site in Papua. On Saturday, an employee of theirs died while working with conveyor facilities.

Investigation by the ministry’s mineral and coal office is currently taking place to reveal the details and causes of the incident

 Source : The Jakarta Post, July 28, 2015

Terakhir Diperbaharui ( Jumat, 31 Juli 2015 04:32 )