Tsingshan's Indonesia Weda Bay halts nickel smelting due to floods

JAKARTA, Aug 26 (Reuters) - PT Indonesia Weda Bay Industrial Park (IWIP), operator of the nickel smelting facility controlled by China's Tsingshan Holding Group and France's Eramet ERMT.PA, said it was halting operations due to flooding.

Some areas within the industrial park in Indonesia's Halmahera island were flooded on Wednesday after two days of heavy rain, IWIP said in a statement.

"At the moment, management of PT IWIP is conducting evacuation, while the activities in the smelting plant is temporarily stopped until the flood is mitigated," it said.

The company showed a video of a partially flooded street in the industrial park, with an excavator working to clean debris off the street.

Bilal Zhau, a spokesman of IWIP, said in the video that water had receded in some parts and activities were starting to return to normal.

The company said there were no casualties due to the flood.

Weda Bay is one of the projects that the Indonesian government has set as a "national priority" to boost processing of nickel at home as it stopped exports of unprocessed ore.

Weda Bay started operations in April this year with an annual capacity of 30,000 tonnes.

(Reporting by Fransiska Nangoy; editing by David Evans)

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

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