Jakarta-Airport railway delay expected
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The construction of a railway that will connect Manggarai Station in Jakarta and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Banten will not commence until the end of 2014 because the feasibility study process is taking more time than expected, a financier said.
State infrastructure financing company PT Sarana Multi Infrastruktur (SMI) corporate secretary Astried Swastika said cost analysis pertinent to land acquisition was the crux of the problem.
“We need at least two years for preparation because this project is built under a public-private partnership,” Astried said on Tuesday.
The project has been on the back burner since 2005 due to a variety of problems until the Transportation Ministry decided in 2011 to bring in SMI to help with financing and start pre-feasibility and feasibility studies.
Both parties had committed to kick-off the construction of the project at the end of 2012 so that the train would be operational in 2014.
“We have finished the pre-feasibility study on the Manggarai-Soekarno Hatta project and we have five different options of track now,” she said.
She refused to disclose the five different options that they have, but she said that one of the options included expansion to the Cawang and Halim area in East Jakarta.
Based on the pre-feasibility study, the airport train project might require at least Rp 18 trillion (US$1.89 billion), president director Emma Sri Martini told The Jakarta Post.
“That is our estimation for now. We still do not know the exact figure for the investment because we have to wait for a further feasibility study on the project that is currently on-going,” Emma said.
She also said that a number of foreign and local companies had long expressed interest in taking part in the bidding, which was supposed to be held in 2009.
The companies include China Harbour Engineering, Japan’s Mitsui and state railway operator PT KAI’s Railink.
Contacted separately, Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that SMI had communicated the progress on the project to the directorate general to the railways.
Even though the project was delayed, he said that the government was speeding up the construction of a double track railway connecting Jakarta and Soekarno-Hatta International Airport by using the commuter line tracks.
He said that the commuter airport train was expected to commence its operations in early 2014.
“This commuter line airport train will help to support the Manggarai–Soekarno Hatta express train that is currently being studied by PT SMI,” he said.
The airport commuter line will pass through Manggarai–Sudirman–Tanah Abang–Duri–Grogol–Bojong Indah–Kalideres–Tanah Tinggi–Soekarno Hatta.
The state railway operator PT KAI will add a 7-kilometer double track line connecting Tanah Tinggi to the airport, which will require a Rp 2.25 trillion ($245.25 million) investment.
“By using the commuter line tracks, airline passengers will take a 35 to 45 minute journey to the airport from Manggarai,” he added.