14 Aug 2008

Binladin looks at investment in Papua

10:33 am on 14 August 2008

The Saudi Arabia-based investment firm Binladin Group is considering investing in agriculture projects in Indonesia's Papua province worth an estimated US$4.3 billion.

Indonesia's special envoy for the Middle East Alwi Shihab told media in Jakarta that the group is looking at acquiring at least 500,000 hectares of land in Merauke regency.

After meeting officials from the BinLadin Group, Mr Shihab said every 5,000 hectares would require about $43 million in investment.

He said the 43 billion dollars would be spent over 15 years.

Also speaking to Indonesian reporters, Binladin Group board member and executive managing editor Abu Bakar S. Al-Hamed confirmed that the firm would focus on rice and other commodities.

He has indicated that more studies are required prior to making a final decision about the investment.