Operations at Indonesia's Weda Bay nickel smelter resume after flood

Activities at Indonesia's Weda Bay smelter complex, one of the country's main nickel processing hubs, returned to normal on Thursday after being hit by floods a day earlier, its operator said.

JAKARTA, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Activities at Indonesia's Weda Bay smelter complex, one of the country's main nickel processing hubs, returned to normal on Thursday after being hit by floods a day earlier, its operator said.

In a video released by the company, Bilal Zhau, a spokesman with operator PT Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP), said water had receded in the industrial park area, allowing the nickel smelter to resume.

"Seen behind me is a smelter in IWIP area which is now working as normal," he said, gesturing toward a plant while trucks were seen driving over a road covered in dry mud.

Flooding hit the area on Wednesday after two days of heavy rain.

Water has also receded on the main road connecting the industrial park with nearby villages and was now passable by car, Zhau said.

A nickel smelter controlled by China's Tsingshan Holding Group and France's Eramet ERMT.PA was the first to start producing at IWIP in April with an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes.

The park operator is a joint venture between Tsingshan, Huayou Cobalt Co., and Zhenshi Holding Group.

Weda Bay is among the projects that the Indonesian government have made a "national priority" to boost processing of nickel at home after a halt on exports of unprocessed ore.

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; Editing by Martin Petty)

((Fransiska.Nangoy@thomsonreuters.com; +62 21 2992 7610; Reuters Messaging: fransiska.nangoy.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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