The government and the House of Representatives recently agreed to prioritise the Bill on Palm Oil's enactment in 2017. This is despite the fact that the bill has been subject to criticism, particularly from environmental activists, who argue that there is no urgency for its enactment as most of the provisions are already contained in the Plantation Law. Regardless of the controversy surrounding its enactment, the bill contains a number of key provisions.
To promote a more conducive investment climate, the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources recently simplified and streamlined the procedures for the application of upstream and downstream oil and gas-related licences through the Regulation concerning Licences in the Field of Oil and Gas. The new regulation has introduced some welcome changes – namely, licence applications can now be made online and most licences can now be issued within 10 to 15 calendar days.
The minister of energy and mineral resources recently enacted Regulation 48/2017 on the supervision of business activities in the energy and mineral resources sector, which revoked the short-lived Regulation 42/2017 on the same subject. In a press release, the minister explained that the regulation's aim is to accommodate the interests of investors and prevent any hindrance to investment.
Despite the primary role that coal and gas continue to play in meeting Indonesia's electricity needs, the government seems to be demonstrating a commitment to promoting renewable energies. New regulations have provided clarity for investors interested in solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and biogas projects by introducing incentives for undertaking such projects, detailing the procedures for renewable power purchase agreements and updating the tariff rates.
A recently promulgated regulation has triggered a major shift in Indonesia's mineral and coal mining industries. Mineral mining companies that depend heavily on mineral exports will be particularly affected by the new policies. Primary changes require all companies operating under a contract of work to transfer to a single licensing regime and introduce stringent mineral export processing standards.
The minister of energy and mineral resources recently issued the Regulation on the Procedure for the Issuance of Recommendation for Export Sales of Processed and Purified Minerals. The regulation – which has simplified the mineral export procedure – covers mineral export sales, the recommendation procedure, domestic refining facility construction plans and the issuance of performance bonds.
The government recently promulgated Presidential Regulation 4/2016 on Acceleration of Electricity Infrastructure Development as part of its commitment to ensuring the success of the 35,000 megawatt programme. The regulation shows the government's support for the prioritisation of new and renewable energy for the implementation of the development and provision of easy licence and permit processes.
To accelerate power plant development by the state electricity company (PLN), the minister of energy and mineral resources has issued a regulation that allows PLN to purchase electricity from independent producers through direct election and direct appointment, provided that certain criteria are met. The regulation also provides benchmark prices for the purchase of electricity.
Regulation 4/2015, which applies to the export of numerous products from natural resources, recently entered into force. The regulation requires Indonesian exporters of these products to obtain a letter of credit from their product buyer for an amount equal to the value of the products sold before their export.
The House of Representatives has passed new legislation concerning geothermal energy. The new Geothermal Resources Act is a revised version of the 2003 Geothermal Energy Act, with major changes that are meant to ease development of the country's geothermal energy industry.
The minister of energy and mineral resources recently issued a regulation intended to promote greater use of solar energy for electricity generation. The regulation stipulates that Perusahaan Listrik Negara – the state-owned electricity company – will purchase the electricity produced by the solar power plant of the business entity that wins a capacity quota tender.
The minister of energy and mineral resources has issued Regulation 11/2012, which amends the obligation to refine minerals imposed under Regulation 7/2012 on Increasing Minerals' Added Value Through Mineral Processing and Refining Activities. This new regulation relaxes the previous ban on miners exporting raw materials, ore and rocks.
In an effort to curb raw mineral exports, the minister of trade has issued the Regulation on Provisions of Mining Products Export. The mining products subject to the regulation comprise 65 metal minerals, non-metal minerals and rocks. Under the regulation, these regulated products may be sourced only from parties that hold a mining permit and their export may be conducted only by exporters that are licensed as a registered exporter.
The president has finally signed the long-awaited implementing regulation for Article 74(4) of Law on Limited Liability Companies. The regulation answers the controversial question of whether corporate social responsibility is voluntary or obligatory for companies, and has particular relevance for natural resources companies and those in related industries.
Government Regulation 42/2012 on Cross-Border Power Sale and Purchase was recently signed by the president. The regulation stipulates that cross-border electricity sale and purchase are subject to the prevailing customs laws and regulations, and must adhere to certain requirements.
The government has issued a new regulation to implement certain provisions of the Electricity Law. It covers a range of issues, including licensing and certification, land use for electrical power supply activities and the determination of sales prices, network leases and tariffs.
The Regulation on Mining Business Activities created divestment obligations for foreign shareholders of a company with a mining licence or a special mining licence. A new amendment requires a further divestment of up to 51% to an Indonesian party no later than 10 years after the start of commercial production. A number of other changes may also affect investors in the extractive industries.
Under Article 71 of the Regulation on Forest Land Use and Development of Forest Management Planning and Forest Utilisation, forest utilisation permit holders must submit a perimeter establishment plan for their work area within one year of the permit issue date. The minister of forestry has issued a regulation on boundary arrangements of working areas for forest utilisation licences.
The minister of forestry has issued new implementation regulations regarding forest land reclamation. Forest licence holders are required to prepare a five-year reclamation plan. Each plan must specify, among others things, schedule, budget, the reclamation activities and an annual reclamation plan map.
The government has taken steps to address Indonesia's declining oil production by providing fiscal incentives to oil and gas operators. It will waive value-added tax on goods imported for the purposes of upstream oil and gas activities or geothermal exploration for the budgetary year 2011.