Business

Government pegs PT KAI
for airport railway development

The government has assigned state-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) to establish a railway that will connect Manggarai station in South Jakarta to Soekarno-Hatta International Airport via Tangerang regency in a Rp 2.25 trillion (US$263.2 million) project.

Deputy Transportation Minister Bambang Susantono said on Friday that the decision was made on the grounds that PT KAI was the only company in Indonesia with adequate qualifications for such an undertaking.

“KAI is the only company in Indonesia competent in the many aspects of railway operations such as human resources and railway signaling systems,” Bambang told reporters after a meeting to finalize a presidential regulation on public-private partnerships at the Office of the Coordinating Economic Minister in Central Jakarta.

Bambang said that the railway project would involve developing a 7-kilometer track connecting Tanah Tinggi station in Tangerang and the airport.

Tanah Tinggi has already been connected to the Manggarai station with a track developed by the Transportation Ministry.

When finished, the route will pass through Manggarai station, Sudirman, Tanah Abang, Duri, Grogol, Kalideres, Tanah Tinggi and end at Soekarno-Hatta Airport.

Besides the Manggarai–Tanah Tinggi–Soekarno-Hatta route, which will be named the commuter line, the government will also establish a 33-kilometer express line between Manggarai station and the airport via Angke in West Jakarta and Pluit in North Jakarta.

The Manggarai station and the Soekarno-Hatta railroad will be offered to private companies under a public-private partnership (PPP) investment scheme facilitated by state-owned infrastructure funding company PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur.

According to Bambang, the Transportation Ministry also plans to expand the existing single-track commuter line from the Manggarai station to Tanah Tinggi to a double-track line to accommodate the increasing railway traffic to the airport.

“Doubling the track will hopefully be finished by the end of 2013,” he said, adding that he hoped the two railway lines connecting Manggarai and the airport would be ready in 2014.

Bambang said that PT KAI may cooperate with either local or international private companies in developing the commuter line.

“The railway company may also cooperate with regional administrations and other state-owned enterprises,” he said, adding that other state-owned enterprises’ involvement would be regulated by the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry.

Bambang said that the total project cost was expected to be around Rp 10.2 trillion, of which Rp 3.5 trillion would come from the government and the rest from private investors.

KAI president director Ignasius Jonan said the company would hire a contractor to build the commuter line.

“However, the rail system will still be fully owned and operated by KAI,” Ignasius said, adding that the company had yet to tender the construction. He said that KAI would use its own funds and bank loans to cover the development cost.

“The cost to develop the railway system from Tanah Tinggi to the airport would be around Rp 2.25 trillion,” Ignasius said. (mim)

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