Japan asked to speed up implementation of Patimban port project

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Transport Minister Budi Karya Sumadi has asked Japan to speed up implementation of the Patimban port project in Subang, West Java.

"We know the port is very important. Japan always is very careful in taking every step in a cooperation project, but we need the port urgently," Budi said at a discussion on Preparation of Development and Operation of the Patimban port with Environmental Concept here on Thursday.

He said he hoped that the operator consortium from Japan could be named immediately to form a port corporate body 51 percent owned by Indonesia and 49 percent by Japan.

"The scheme is a consortium. Our regulation have not sufficiently accommodate international standard interest . The Patimban port is to be built with international standards," he said.

Budi said President Joko Widodo adn Vice President Jusuf Kalla hope the port to be operational in 2019.

"Therefore, those involved in the project, either it is Jica or Pelindo, are expected to move fast in coordination . Time is not in our side," he said.

He said in the cities around Patimban, such as Majalengka an airport, Kertajati, would be built to be operational in May 2018.

Budi said the operation of Patimban port project would help ease the congestion in Jakarta as there are 12,000 vehicles using the road between the Jagodetabek and Surabaya everyday.

He said the Patimban port is designed with a handling capacity of 7.5 million TEUs of containers and 600,000 vehicles, adding it is located near industrial estates reducing logistic cost.

Construction of the port would be carried out in three phase with a total cost of Rp43.22 trillion. The first phase of construction would start in January, 2018 . Altogether the project is to be completed in 2027.

Around 71 percent of the cost would be covered with a loan for breakwater, drilling, reclamation, pier and seawall, trestle, and access road. Around 19 percent from the state budget for the procurement of 372 hectares of land and taxes; and 10 percent from government private cooperation (KPS) for equipment and operation.

Earlier Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Masafumi Ishii said the Patimban port project was in its final phase of preparations for the start of construction.

"We can at least partially open the port in the first quarter of 2019. Everything is progressing," the ambassador said here.

Earlier reports said construction of the port, a strategic project expected to help ease logistics in the country, would likely start by the end of 2017.

The port is designed to have a container capacity of 1.5 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) once it is partially completed in 2019 and 7.5 million TEUs by 2027, about half the capacity of the country's busiest port, Jakarta's Tanjung Priok.

The port will be located in Subang, about 70 kilometers from the Karawang Industrial Estate in Bekasi, West Java, where many Japanese industrial firms, particularly automotive manufacturers, operate.(*)