The Indonesian government plans to ease rules on the import of scrap metal for use as a raw material by the country’s steel industry, according to a Reuters article dated Feb. 12. Indonesia Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita reported that he hopes the new rules will lead to a reduction in imports of steel billets.
According to the Reuters report, Kartasasmita said there is a need for scrap metal in Indonesia’s domestic market. He said the local steel industry is using only about 40 percent of its capacity, partly because companies do not have enough materials for production; however, he added that if the nation’s mills can increase their utilization rates, they can supply 70 percent of domestic steel product demand.
Currently, scrap metal is included in the Indonesian government’s list of dangerous and poisonous waste, and importers must have a license and must obtain numerous permits from the ministries of industry, environment and trade, Reuters reports. The new government measure would exclude scrap metal from that list, potentially reducing the number of permits required for shipments.
According to the Reuters report, Kartasasmita said he estimates that Indonesia will import about 5 million metric tons of scrap metal after the relaxation, but he did not clarify when the new rules would go into effect.