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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        26 January 2011

Indian billionaires lead expansion in Indonesia

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Indian companies led by billionaires Gautam Adani and G.V. Krishna Reddy signed agreements worth US$15 billion for projects including airports, steel plants, ports and railroads in Indonesia.

A GVK Power and Infrastructure Ltd.-led venture will spend as much as $4 billion to build two airports in Indonesia and Adani Group signed a deal to build a railway and port worth about $1.8 billion, the companies said separately yesterday. Indian companies including Tata Power Ltd. signed 18 agreements with Indonesia, according to a government statement.

Indian companies that have built utilities, sea ports, airports and factories at home are leveraging their experience to win projects overseas. Indonesia has supplies of coal that companies such as Tata Power may seek to tap, said P. Phani Sekhar of Angel Broking Ltd.

"There is great similarity" between India and Indonesia, said Sekhar, a fund manager at Mumbai-based Angel Broking. "There is domestic opportunity and the natural resources of Indonesia are far too tempting."

GVK Power signed an agreement with Badan Koordinasi Penanaman Modal, a board set up by Indonesia to facilitate investments, and PT Pembangunan Bali Mandiri, which promotes airport development, to build two airports in North Bali and Yogyakarta, Java, the Hyderabad-based company said in a statement yesterday.

GVK Power, which is building an airport in Mumbai and manages an airport in Bangalore, also operates power generation plants across India, according to its web site.

Adani Enterprises Ltd. signed an agreement for setting up a rail link and a port project with the regional government of Sumatra Selatan and PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam, a coal mining company, the Ahmedabad, India-based company said in a news release yesterday. The project involves the construction of a 250-kilometer (155 miles) railroad linking a coal mining area with a port that will also be built by the collaborating companies, Adani said.

The Adani Group, which operates ports, power plants, sells edible oils and distributes gas, in August purchased coal assets in Australia. Earlier this month, the company bought two ships to transport coal from its mines in Indonesia and Australia.

International Coal Ventures Ltd. that consists of Indian state-run metal and energy companies, plans to invest $3 billion to build a steel plant in Indonesia.

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