West Papua is famous for its abundant natural resources, especially marine biodiversity and forest products. This advantage could attract many investments or businesses related to the available natural resources. Compared to other provinces in Indonesia, the industrial sector in West Papua could develop much faster.
The regional officials aim to actualize the province’s vision as an independent, competitive, prosperous, fair, and sustainable province. To achieve this goal, they have planned several programs to support the establishment of complementary industrial infrastructure and hasten the economy’s growth by paying more attention to natural resources management and human resources development.
In the present time, West Papua’s economic activity centers on resources. The province will develop several industries focusing on fishery, agriculture, and mining. These focal points are crucial to fulfilling the necessity of the local community. In addition, the government wishes for these industries to manage the supply of national and global needs.
Developing Industrial Sector in West Papua
Industrial Estate in Bintuni Bay
The industrial estate zone in Bintuni Bay is located in the Sumuri District, Bintuni Bay Regency, West Papua Province. It covers an area of approximately 2,112 hectares. This site is much bigger than the Morowali industrial area in Central Sulawesi Province, 1,200 hectares.
This zone’s natural resources have a great potential to reinforce the Petrochemical industry, which produces chemicals from crude oil and natural gas.
The primary industry focuses on the development of the methanol industry. The development of the petrochemical industry also considers the methanol derivatives such as methyl tertiary-butyl ether, polyethylene or polypropylene, dimethyl ether, and so on. This plan is predicted to draw many relevant business investments to the area.
The government predicted that this industrial sector in West Papua could attract IDR 1.76 trillion of construction investment and USD 800 million for the methanol industry. Also, it could provide 3,500 job opportunities for the local community.
Although there is an environmental concern about this project, the national government has set a plan to balance out this effect by enforcing the control of environmental impacts.
Sorong Regency, a Special Economic Zone
Special Economic Zone (SEZ), or Kawasan Ekonomi Khusus (KEK), is a designated area for specific purposes with a disadvantage in the economic sector. This area will attract companies and investments to foster economic growth. The designated site will offer incentives like special tax.
In West Papua Province, the national government inaugurated Sorong Regency as a Special Economic Zone. This zone covers an area of 523.7 hectares.
The main goals for the regency are to boost the tourism sector, the nickel processing industry, forestry, fishery, plantation goods, palm oil, and the establishment of logistics warehouses.
The zone is projected to provide 15,024 job opportunities in plenty of industries and reach 10,64 trillion rupiahs of the monetary value of final goods and services for the next 8 years.
Regarding infrastructure development, the national government has built 6,5 kilometers of environmental roads and 3,5 kilometers of roads with drainage channels.
They also built Gas Engine Power Plants to supply the community’s needs for electricity. In addition, there are long-term and short-term projects to provide clean water in Arar Port.
As one of the official provinces in the country, West Papua has a lot of room for improvement regarding the industrial sector. Thus, the dynamic development of the industrial sector in West Papua requires direct engagement from the regional and national governments, as well as support from the local people.
Still, the province has taken a step forward by making two regencies the focus of the province’s economic growth.