Indonesian hopes of producing its first jet airliner, IPTN's N2130 regional jet family, are fading as local shareholders in the $2 billion programme move to liquidate their investment.

The Dua Satu Tiga Puluh (DSTP) company, tasked with backing N2130 development, is considering three options following a 29 July extraordinary shareholder meeting in Jakarta. A final decision will be taken in December on which course of action to take, none of which provides for continued support of the 100/130-seat twinjet project.

Some shareholders are asking for the liquidation of DSTP and a refund, contending that they were pressured into making the investment by the ousted Government of President Suharto.

Other proposed options would see DSTP continue, but using the accumulated funds for other investments or charity. Of the 1.412 trillion rupiah ($100 million) raised, some 212 billion rupiah has been spent on N2130.

DSTP, chaired by Suharto, has been selling shares since 1996, in a move to get around mounting criticism of state subsidies for IPTN and its earlier N250 turboprop development. IPTN vice-president Ilham Habibie, son of state-run company founder and Indonesia's new President Bacharuddin Habibie, had sought continued support for the N2130 through to the end of its preliminary design phase in March 1999.

With DSTP set to cut off funding for the project, it is unclear how work can proceed without outside support. President Habibie's hands are tied by the International Monetary Fund, which has barred any more cash injections into IPTN in return for a $43 billion bail-out of Indonesia's stricken economy.

The Bandung manufacturer is already struggling to complete development and certification of the N250 twin turboprop, and has recently been seeking international partner and vendor support to complete the programme.

Source: Flight International