Old port: Teluk Bayur Port in Padang, West Sumatra, still uses conventional berths for loading and unloading various goods, ranging from containers and bulk materials like salt and rice. JP/Syofiardi Bachyul Jb
Teluk Bayur Port in Padang, West Sumatra, will be renovated at a cost of Rp 1.7 trillion (US$185.8 million) in a bid to provide better services for both export and import activities.
The renovation project, expected to run from 2011 to 2015, comes in response to a rising number of complaints from port users, especially from the export-import business community.
General manager of the Teluk Bayur chapter of state port management company PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo) II, Yanto Barbarosa, said the port renovation project would by financed solely by PT Pelindo II.
“We will change the conventional face of Teluk Bayur Port into a modern one,” Yanto said.
The new port will be equipped with three separated berths to handle containers and bulk goods as well as a multi-purpose terminal.
Under the project, the existing container terminal will be expanded from 150 to 500 meters, and will be equipped with seven cranes.
The port renovation is expected to enable 16 large-scale ships to berth at the same time, rising from its current capacity of 10 ships.
“This will surely reduce the time ships have to queue. At present, 20 to 35 ships are forced to queue for an average of 10 days, and this makes port users angry,” Yanto said.
Aside from building more berths, Pelindo II will also dredge the sea floor to add capacity.
Yanto further explained that Rp 535 billion of the total investment had already been disbursed and another Rp 350 billion will be spent in 2012.
“We will make an evaluation later whether we will continue the second expansion project in the 2016-2025 period. It all depends on future needs,” he said.
The port expansion project is in line with economic growth trends in West Sumatra, especially in the fields of agribusiness and mining.
West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno said he was glad to hear the port expansion project would go ahead because he helped lobby Pelindo II to invest in Teluk Bayur.
He said he was confident that the investment would be viable because of the port’s important position in West Sumatra.
“The plantation and mining sectors are growing very rapidly at present,” the governor said.
However, head of the West Sumatra office of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin) Asnawi Bahar said that despite the big investment, current plans will not be able to catch up to the rapidly growing demands for infrastructure in the area for the next five, 10 or 20 years.
“The benefits of the current program can only be enjoyed in 2013, leaving businessmen disappointed for the next two years because it will still take a long time for their ships to berth at the port,” he said.