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|Date: 4 June 2012 - Author: Antara|
|President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Nipah island in the north of Batam in the province of Riau Islands would be developed to assist the nation`s economic interests.|
|"Nipah island will be built for our national economic interests," he said during a visit to the outermost island near Singapore here on Saturday.|
President Yudhoyono noted that the government wanted to take advantage of the island`s strategic location, which is close to the economic zone of Batam, Bintan, Karimun and Johor, Malaysia.
However, the island would remain as the outermost checkpoint of the Unitary State of Indonesia.
Minister of fisheries and marine resources Sharif C Sutardjo, meanwhile, said the government plans to build several business centers on the island, including a pier where international ships passing through the Strait of Malacca may anchor, or a fishery enterprise.
The government is still drawing up the plan for the island, which had nearly sunk.
The director general of marine coasts and small isles, Sudirman Saad, said Nipah island would be developed into a defense-based economic growth center.
On the 44-hectare island, 15 hectares would be used for defense and 12 hectares for facilities such as a pier.
He said besides a pier, a fuel oil filling station would also be built on the island, as well as a center for selling water, adding that fuel would be supplied by Pertamina depot in Sambu island, while water would come from Karimun Besar island.
It is estimated that six million liters of oil and 2.5 million liters of clean water would be needed to supply the stations, he said.
He added that the fuel would be sold at an economic price. "Nipah island would be able to serve five ships weighing 50,000 GT," he said.