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Home >> World
UPDATED: 13:52, May 16, 2007
Japan offers Indonesia loan, expertise to deal with mudflow crisis
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The Japanese government may provide soft loans of up to 1 trillion rupiah (110 million U.S. dollars) to Indonesia to help the country stop mudflow from a punctured gas well in East Java that has been gushing since last May.

The loans were proposed following a presentation to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono last week, in which Japanese scientists offered possible solutions to stop the mudflow, Indonesian Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro has said.

One solution involves the construction of a "double-cover dam" to contain the mud, until it reaches a sufficient volume whereby it will serve as a counterweight to the flowing mud, said the minister, quoted by English daily The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. The scientists said they had successfully carried out a similar project in the Philippines.

"The terms and conditions of the loan have not been finalized, but there will be another Cabinet meeting to discuss this issue within the next two weeks," Purnomo told reporters.

The proposed dam would be 120 meters in diameter and 40 meters in height.

The government has pledged to set aside at least 2.5 trillion rupiah (275 million dollars) from the state budget to fix infrastructure facilities damaged by the mudflow in the town of Sidoarjo.

More than 13,000 homes, schools and factories have been inundated by the mud.

Source: Xinhua

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