(PT Merauke Rayon Jaya)
Although Texmaco pulled out of Merauke several years ago, the logging company still potentially has permits to resume operations and is active in the field.
Last Updated 29/07/2013
Company Description: PT Merauke Rayon Jaya is one of the 20 or so companies that make up Marimutu Sinivasan’s Texmaco group, an Indonesian conglomerate. It was previously known as PT Maharani Rayon Jaya.
Owned by: Marimutu Sinivasan is the founder of the Texmaco group of companies. He was close to President Suharto, and had business connections with Suharto’s family members, including Suharto’s daughter Siti Hediati Hariyadi who was also involved in PT Maharani Rayon Jaya at that time.1 In the financial crisis Texmaco incurred the largest debts of any Indonesian company, but Marimutu Sinivasan was allowed to continue running the company.2
Plans in Merauke: Texmaco’s involvement in Merauke is part of a long story of planned plantations in the area, which the company appears to be trying to ressurrect. Texmaco inherited plans for a 206,800 hectare plantation after US company Scott Paper pulled out from the area, followed by their partner, Indonesia’s Astra group.3 The company was struck by debt shortly afterwards and did not go ahead with developing the plantation. However Texmaco did applied to extend its licence in 2008, and after a new work plan was presented, and some changes made, a new permit was given in 2009. An NGO, Greenomics, has raised objections to this, as 120,000 hectares, or the majority, of Texmaco’s allocated area comprises primary forest, which should not be logged.4 Forestry Ministry General Secretary Hadi Daryanto said in June 2011 that Merauke Rayon Jaya was one of the 16 companies that remained committed to the MIFEE project.5
In February 2013, PT Merauke Rayon Jaya hit news headlines when two members of its survey team went missing in the forest. They eventually emerged safely 19 days later.6
Land which Texmaco bought in 1995 and then abandoned has long been occupied by local farmers to grow rice. In June 2013 it was reported that Texmaco wanted to take control of this 2000 hectare piece of land again. Unsurprisingly, farmers are nervous.7