Friday, March 6, 2009

UAE fund plans Indonesia coal rail link

JAKARTA, March 2 (Reuters) - A United Arab Emirates' fund signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday with an Indonesian provinicial government on developing a 125 km (80 mile) rail link and jetty for coal transportation in East Kalimantan.

The Ras Al Khaimah Minerals & Metals Investment fund is targeting a rail link with a capacity to transport 60 million tonnes of coal a year over the next 10-15 years in East Kutai regency in East Kalimantan on Borneo island, it said in a statement.

Aside from the railway, it also plans to build a coal jetty.

"We will work with various mine owners for the transportation of coal and welcome partnership," Madhu Koneru, managing director of RMMI, said in the statement.

The agreement was signed by Khater Massaad, chief executive of the RAK Investment Authority, and Awang Faroek Ishak, East Kalimantan governor, at an Islamic economic forum in Jakarta.

Coal production in East Kalimantan accounts for about 57 percent of Indonesia's total coal output which is expected to reach 230 million tonnes.

Indonesia is the world's top exporter of thermal coal.

RMMI did not give financial details on the planned project but said it aimed to increase mining capacity to 30 million tonnes per year by 2020 through the project.

The Bisnis Indonesia newspaper last month quoted the East Kalimantan governor as putting the cost of the project at $600 million.

(Reporting by Olivia Rondonuwu, Writing by Fitri Wulandari; Editing by Ed Davies)

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