Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Supreme Auditing Agency (BPK) has reminded the government of long delayed big project of Sunda Strait bridge expressing support for immediate construction of the bridge that would link the western end of Java and southern tip of Sumatra.

The bridge spanning the sea in the Sunda strait would greatly contribute to economic development especially in the western part of the country, BPK chairman Rizal Djalil said.

The Sunda strait is a busy sea lane with ferries sailing back and forth between Merak and Bahauheni carrying passengers and cargoes.

Construction of the 30 kilometer bridge was earlier estimated to cost Rp250 trillion (US$25 billion).

"The Sunda strait bridge project has bee too long in the pipeline," Rizal said here on Friday.

He said BPK supports development of the project whether its feasibility study would be financed with the state budget or by the private sector.

Earlier the government said the feasibility study would be carried out by the initiator, the Banten-Lampung consortium.

The project will have multiplier effect, improve efficiency in goods distribution and would open new economic centers at both end of the bridge in Java and Sumatra, Rizal said.

Deputy public works minister Hermanto Dardak has said construction of the countrys longest bridge would be financed by a consortium without participation of the central government.

The longest bridge spanning the sea was already in operation between the Java main land and Madura island in East Java.

Hermanto said the proposal has been included in draft cooperation agreement between the central government and the consortium led by PT Bangungraha Sejahtera Mulia .

"The note is yet to be signed but in principle, both sides have expressed agreement," Hermanto was quoted as saying said.

He said the consortium could reduce its financing burden by offering concessions for the area development around of the 28 kilometer bridge .

The concession developers would at least contribute 50 percent to the total cost , he said.

The total cost includes Rp100 trillion for the bridge and Rp150 trillion for areas in both end of the bridge.

Tender for the bridge would be held in 2014 and its construction is expected to completed in next 10 years.

The he Banten-Lampung consortium and Artha Graha, which is owned by local tycoon Tommy Winata would cooperate with the consortium of PT Bangungraha Sejahtera Mulia.

Public works minister Djoko Kirmanto said the ministry was in the final phase of drafting the cooperation agreement between the government the consortium and its partner PT Bangungraha Sejahtera Mulia.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
Copyright © ANTARA 2014