Cooperation between PT. Beton Elemenindo Putra and Flexbase Netherlands on large-scale floating structures development

Along with the urge to keep advancing the applications of EPS foam for more technical and meaningful purposes, such as b-panel® building system, geotechnical solutions, and ultralight building facades, in 2013, PT Beton Elemenindo Putra successfully developed its floating structure solutions based on b-foam® EPS. Beside its very long service life (30 years buoyancy warranty) and high load capacity, EPS-foam based floating structures has superior safety rating, as it is almost impossible to sink – there is no hollow cavity inside the pontoon for the water to breach.

Started with its first project, the Lembang Floating Market, which turned out to be a hugely successful commercial tourism venture, b-foam® floating structures have since been selected for other key projects beyond Java, such as high-load factor cargo floating platform of one of the largest multinational infrastructure contractors, to carry their concrete tetrapods in excess of 10 tons of gross weight, as well as the largest b-foam® floating structure to date, a 200m2, 2-story floating restaurant in Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan.

In April 2013, the management of PT Beton Elemenindo Putra’s management met with Mr. J. W. Roel, the Director of FlexBase B.V, a Dutch company specialized in EPS-based floating solution as well, albeit with its own unique modular system to enable much larger scale floating platform to be built on water. The Netherlands is perhaps a country with the richest know-how of building technology around and on water, due to its geographic conditions of mostly low-laying lands, some of which are actually below the surface level of the North Sea next to it. As such, in the Netherlands, many housing estates, businesses, and even large scale public pavilion, are built floating on water, so that floods and varying tide does not affect the buildings. EPS-foam based floating structure solution developed by FlexBase, is key part of this successful deployments of floating structures in the Netherlands. As such, during PT. Beton’s management visit to the Netherlands, it was agreed by both parties to enter into a business cooperation, where PT Beton can benefit from FlexBase’s technology to allow construction of much larger floating platforms than what PT Beton has achieved to date, and FlexBase can tap into Indonesia’s substantial market opportunity.

The agreement would enable FlexBase to utilize PT Beton’s EPS pontoon’s manufacturing facility, for the efficient fabrications of EPS floating modules based on FlexBase’s technology, and distribute them throughout Indonesia, and possibly the region’s neighboring countries. Business development and lead generations are conducted jointly by the two companies, leveraging PT Beton’s local business networks, and FlexBase’s links to the multinational and intergovernmental scene.

The cooperation was formalized in a signing ceremony on November 21, 2013, held at Hotel Borobudur Jakarta. Witnessing the signing were the Dutch Prime Minister, Mr. Mark Rutte, accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Ms Lilianne Ploumen, and Mr. M.S. Hidayat, Indonesia’s Minister of Industry. Signing the cooperation were Don Kamarga, Managing Director of PT. Beton Elemenindo Putra, and Mr J.W.Roel, Director of FlexBase B.V.

In mid-2014, the two parties will embark on its first joint pilot project, conduct a series of workshop with business players in the various sectors to benefit from this technology. The eventual goal of this joint cooperation is the wide acceptance of EPS foam-based floating structures for large-scale projects on water in Indonesia requiring very long service life, low-maintenance, and high safety factor.

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