State-owned port operator Pelindo III says it will spend Rp 6.1 trillion (US$634.4 million) this year, almost half of which will be used to develop regional ports and buy container cranes to ease port congestion.
The total amount is a fourfold increase from the Rp 1.5 trillion the firm spent last year.
Some of the money will be used to acquire 2,500 hectares of land in East Java for the construction of a new industrial port.
Pelindo III spokesman Edi Priyanto said that almost 50 percent of the total investment would be used to finance the expansion of container terminals at Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang, Central Java; Trisakti Port in South Kalimantan; and the Teluk Lamong multipurpose terminal project near East Java’s hub, Tanjung Perak Port.
“We need to expand the terminals because domestic demand is rising on the back of economic growth. We have to anticipate a surge in traffic as soon as possible,” Edi told The Jakarta Post here on Tuesday.
For Tanjung Emas Port in Semarang, for instance, the firm will add 5.3 hectares to the port’s container yard and extend the dockyard from 495 meters to 600 meters in order to accommodate more ships and containers. The firm had been working on the project since January 2012 and it is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
A similar project is being conducted at Trisakti Port in Banjarmasin in response to the 15 percent increase in its container traffic to 419,335 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year.
As for the much-anticipated Teluk Lamong project, he said that Pelindo III was working on the causeway, container yard, dockyard and connecting bridge, all of which cover a 300-hectare area.
The connecting bridge is almost 70 percent complete, while the remaining elements are in the early stage of construction.
“We recently began construction on Teluk Lamong’s domestic dockyard, container yard and causeway. We expect to finish the entire project by early 2014, which will help Tanjung Perak Port as it has been running at overcapacity,” he said, adding that Teluk Lamong was projected to commence operations in April 2014.
First built by the Dutch, Tanjung Perak Port is designed to accommodate up to 3.5 million tons of general cargo annually. However, traffic stood at almost 7 million tons throughout 2012.
Edi said the project was not only aimed at supporting Tanjung Perak but also at reducing logistics costs, as the average waiting time at Perak had reached three days.
In addition, he said the firm would set aside one-third of this year’s investment for new luffing container cranes and rubber-tired gantry to help ease congestion at the three ports.
Trisakti will receive more cranes than the other two ports because container traffic has increased more than 15 percent.
Furthermore, he said Pelindo III planned to acquire a 2,500-hectare plot of land near Teluk Lamong and Tanjung Perak to build a new port.
Edi declined to give further details, but said the company would start work on the project after completing Teluk Lamong.
Pelindo III aimed to create an integrated port in East Java to strengthen the province’s position as the main gateway for trade to eastern regions in Indonesia, he said.