The construction of seven new seaports across Indonesia will be among the priorities of the government’s medium-term infrastructure development plan, according to the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas).
Bappenas’ head Andrinof Chaniago said seaports and other maritime-related projects would be the basic infrastructure that Indonesia would rely on as the country possessed vast maritime resources and territory, which were often neglected in the past.
Developments for seaports and other projects should be spread across the country, especially in eastern parts, as the government believed in equal growth for each region to reduce dependency on Java, Andrinof said.
“For the first phase, we will prioritize construction of at least seven seaports, such as in Makassar [South Sulawesi] and Bitung [North Sulawesi], which have been listed in the National Mid-Term Development Plan [RPJMN] for 2015-2019,” he said during a visit to The Jakarta Post recently.
Andrinof said Indonesia currently had at least 200 seaports, which were divided into three categories — major or hub ports as well as medium and small sized harbors.
The government planned to expand 24 hub seaports, comprising 11 major and feeder ports as well as the remaining 13 to facilitate cargo handling, he added.
In accordance with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s vision of a maritime axis, the government has laid out several maritime-related programs, such as the National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) project and the maritime highway.
Regarding financing for all infrastructure projects in the next five years, Andrinof said the government had allocated 50 percent to 60 percent of the RPJMN from state and regional budgets as well as loans from state-owned banks and financing firms, while the rest would come from private funding.
“In terms of private funding, we will seek soft loans from international financing institutions, such as the Asian Development Bank [ADB], World Bank and Islamic Development Bank [IDB], as they have expressed their commitment to supporting Indonesia’s infrastructure program,” Andrinof said.
Indonesia needs Rp 5.51 quadrillion (US$421 billion) in investment for infrastructure projects between 2015 and 2019, 30.6 percent of which is expected to come from the private sector, Bappenas data shows.
Andrinof said Bappenas was currently reviewing a list of projects that would be officially offered to investors through public-private partnership (PPP) schemes, which would later be wrapped up in the annual PPP book. “Our development policy is to build good quality infrastructure without surrendering to business or political interests, so we need to ensure that controversial and unfeasible projects, for example the Cilamaya Port and Sunda Strait Bridge [JSS], are not listed in the PPP book,” he said.
Megaprojects that are currently under thorough review and most likely to be canceled include an express train connecting Jakarta, Bandung, West Java, and Surabaya as well as a railway for transporting coal in Central Kalimantan.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla has confirmed the cancelation of the Cilamaya project, which will be moved farther east to a new site on the northern coast of West Java to accommodate the expansion of state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina’s offshore operations near the location of the long-awaited port. Cilamaya was previously expected to be a new international seaport essential to support the country’s biggest port, Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta.
Recently, the Transportation Ministry announced that it would allocate Rp 25 billion this year to fund the new seaport location’s feasibility study; replacing the previous one conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).