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5 May 2009

Indonesia oil firm expands into gold, coal

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Indonesia’s Publicly listed oil service company PT Ratu Prabu Energi is launching an aggressive business expansion by joining the coal and gold rush, reported the Jakarta Post.

The company will spend as much as $500 million over the next years to mine gold and coal in East Kalimantan and Bengkulu.

Ratu Prabu president director Burhanuddin Bur Maras said Wednesday the company's subsidiary PT Indo Asia Resources, specializing in mining and energy services, had already secured gold and mining concessions, and would soon launch exploration activities. He said explorations by the previous owners had no clear results.

"Now to further develop the mines, we plan to set up partnerships with two foreign companies from Europe and Canada," he said, refusing to name the investors.

"We're currently negotiating with them. Hopefully, we'll reach a deal soon so that we can immediately start developing the mines," said Burhanuddin, adding partnerships were needed because the firm had limited experience in coal and gold.

He also said that Ratu Prabu would sell another 10 percent of its shares through a secondary public offering (SPO) to underpin project financing and boost liquidity.

Ratu Prabu finance director Gemilang Zaharin said the company had appointed PT Mandiri Sekuritas as underwriter for the SPO. I hope we can do it within three months," he said, adding several institutional investors were interested.

Aside from expanding into gold and coal, the company would consider taking over several oil fields in Java and Sumatra this year.

"We've acquired an oil field in Binjai, North Sumatra worth $5 million (55 billion rupiah) which was owned by PT Putra Batu Mandi. Soon, we'll take over an oil field in Sumatra with a total production capacity of between 2,000 and 3,000 barrels per day," said Gemilang.

Ratu Prabu is also the operator of Ratu Prabu I and Ratu Prabu II office buildings located on Jl. T.B. Simatupang in South Jakarta, housing international companies engaged in the oil and gas sectors.

The company's expansion is unlikely to stop there as it also plans the construction of four towers for offices, hotels, and apartments -- dubbed as Ratu Prabu III, IV, V, and VI - in North and South Jakarta representing a total investment of $300 million. These projects are scheduled to be completed in 2011.

During the first quarter of this year, the company is expecting a five fold jump in revenue to 162 billion rupiah ($15.2 million) from 28.5 billion rupiah recorded in the same period last year, according to Gemilang.

He said net profit between January and March might reach 8.4 billion rupiah as against a loss of around 2 billion rupiah recorded in the same period last year. Last year, Ratu Prabu booked total revenue of 517 billion rupiah and net profits of 25 billion rupiah, as against 3.5 billion rupiah revenue and a 30 billion rupiah loss in 2007 when the firm was still named PT Arona Bina Sejati.

In mid 2008, Arona was taken over by Ratu Prabu Group, founded by Burhanuddin, and changed its name to Ratu Prabu Energi. 


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