Nickel producer inaugurates 90-MW Karebbe in Indonesia

JAKARTA, Indonesia 11/23/11 (PennWell) — PT International Nickel Indonesia Tbk. (PT Inco) has inaugurated the 90-MW Karebbe hydroelectric project on the Larona River on Sulawesi Island in Indonesia.

PT Inco, owned by Brazil’s Companhia Vale do Rio Doce through Canada’s Inco Ltd., plans to use Karebbe to provide most of the power for its PTI’sore processing plant at Sorowako. Karebbe joins other PT Inco hydro projects on the Larona, 167-MW Larona and 109-MW Balambano.

Officials of PT Inco, Vale, and Indonesia’s local, regional, and national governments took part in a commissioning ceremony. PT Inco and Vale announced plans to invest significantly in Indonesia over five years to increase annual nickel production to 120,000 metric tons from 73,000.

“Karebbe represents a US$410 million investment in our future,” Vale President Murilo Ferreira said. “It provides a clean, reliable source of electric power that is the driver for our entire growth program and a building block in creating a long-term sustainable future for our Indonesia operations.”

With the launch of Karebbe, PT Inco committed to increase the amount of power it supplies to local communities by 3 MW to a total 8 MW.

VA Tech Hydro received an order in 2005 to supply turbine-generators and penstocks for Karebbe. Construction of the project resumed in 2007 after a year’s suspension awaiting a forestry permit.

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