China's Tsingshan, Huafon plan $3 bln coke, chemical project in Indonesia

BEIJING, Aug 28 (Reuters) -

* China’s Tsingshan Holding Group, a major stainless steel and nickel producer, and chemicals firm Huafon Group plan to set up a $3 billion metallurgy and chemical production base in Indonesia, Huafon said in a statement

* The two companies, both based in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, on Tuesday signed a deal to jointly build the base, which will include a 12 million tonnes per year capacity coke plant, on the island of Sulawesi

* The first phase of the project will produce coke and other steelmaking raw materials, as well as synthetic ammonia, the statement said, while the second phase will use crude benzene to develop polymer materials

* No timeframe was provided for the launch of the project, although the statement said the two sides had assembled working groups to carry out implementation work so it can be launched “as soon as possible”

* Tsingshan, which did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the plans, is the biggest nickel producer in Indonesia and is pursuing two separate projects to produce battery chemicals on Sulawesi (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by David Evans)