Japan hopes Indonesia will serve as the basis for its exports, and so, they expect the presence of seaports."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Yusron Ihza Mahendra expressed confidence that Japan is still interested to build a seaport in Indonesia after its plan to build the Cilamaya seaport was cancelled.

"I am confident that Japan is still interested to build a seaport, but it will likely conduct a study on the project first before moving ahead," the ambassador noted after a meeting between Vice President Jusuf Kalla and the Japanese Kaidanren team here on Wednesday.

Mahendra revealed that during the meeting with the vice president, both sides also discussed the Cilamaya project that had been cancelled as its location would be shifted to the east.

"We know that the state-owned port company Pelindo II operates there and we heard that there are many technical problems at the location such as gas pipeline networks while Karawang (where Cilamaya is located) is a rice barn," Mahendra remarked.

The ambassador said that Japan hoped for the presence of a good seaport, so that it could focus on automotive exports.

"Japan hopes Indonesia will serve as the basis for its exports, and so, they expect the presence of seaports," the ambassador affirmed.

It was earlier reported that Japan had shown keen interest to invest in the development of Cilamaya seaport, but the plan there is cancelled because state-owned oil and gas company Pertamina has gas pipeline networks in the location.

Vice President Kalla confirmed last week that the government has decided to cancel the plan to build a new port in Cilamaya, Karawang District, West Java.

"It has been decided that the plan to build a new port would continue, but it would be built in a safer area to the east where the sea has less oil rigs and platforms," Kalla remarked last Thursday.

The projects location would be moved to an area more towards the east, which will be far from offshore oil installations in the sea off Cilamaya.

There are around 80 offshore platforms in Cilamaya waters and 223 more to the west in the Java Sea.

The decision followed protests from state oil and gas company Pertamina that shipping activities would hamper oil surveys and operations in that area.

Kalla noted after a meeting at the office of the Tanjungjaya village chief that the location has to be moved to better guarantee shipping safety and to not hamper Pertaminas operations there.

Security is vital in shipping, and it is an even more important factor in gas operation, he emphasized.

Kalla mentioned the other coastal areas in West Java, such as Subang or Indramayu, where the seas have no oil rigs or pipelines, as a new possible location for the project.

The government wants to build a new port as an expansion of Tanjung Priok, which has been overcrowded.

The Cilamaya port project was estimated to cost Rp34.5 trillion.

Feasibility study has to be carried out again for the project to be completed in 2010 in a new location.

"We have to find a ten-kilometer-wide corridor through which vessels can move safely. It is not merely about oil and gas pipes," Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Indroyono Susilo noted.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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