"This development is urgent, especially with regards to reducing logistical costs in West Kalimantan. We are currently using the Dwikora port in Pontianak, but it is operating at two or three times its intended capacity," said the companys Technical and Risk Management Director, Dani Rusli Utama, during a visit to the region on Saturday (Jan. 21).
"The Dwikora port was designed to have a capacity of 100,000 TEU, but this was increased to 250,000 TEU in order to cope with extra demand. However, due to the increasing number of bigger ships that dock in the area every year, it is no longer suitable for further development as it can only handle relatively small ships," added Utama.
The Dwikora port has a depth of only 6 to 7 meters compared to 12 to 15 meters at the proposed port in Kijing, making the latter more suitable for bigger ships.
"The development of the international port at Kijing will be based on the principle of having a multipurpose port that can handle large containers and liquid cargo," he said.
"The first phase of development is to build a multi-purpose container port that stretches around 500 meter to one kilometer long, with a total area covering 50 to 100 hectares," he added.
According to Utama, the project has received support from the central government, as well as the regional government and local communities in the region. It is expected to be completed between 2018 and 2019.
"We hope that the port can better serve all the arriving ships and lower overall operating costs, as well as increase economic activities for the benefit of West Kalimantan," he said.
He also believed that the new port would speed up economic development in the region and improve shipping services to other regions such as Natuna and Jakarta, along with international destinations such as the South China Sea and Singapore.