Waskita to develop LRT in Palembang for Asian Games
Anggi M. Lubis
The Jakarta Post
State-run construction company Waskita Karya will develop a light rapid transit (LRT) system in Palembang, South Sumatra, next year after its appointment by the government to lead the Rp 7 trillion (US$518.62 million) project.
Waskita corporate secretary Antonius Yulianto confirmed the company had been appointed by the Transportation Ministry to work on the LRT and was currently formulating a budget proposal for the high-profile project.
The proposal, he said, would be submitted in three months at the latest, and approval was expected to be granted by the ministry around one month later.
'The construction is expected to conclude in June 2018, before the start of the Asian Games,' Antonius said.
Palembang, along with Jakarta, will host the regional multi-sporting event from Aug. 18 through Sept. 2, 2018.
Antonius added that the LRT would connect Sultan Mahmud Badarudin II international airport to Jakabaring Sport City, with a stop at Palembang Grand Mosque.
Waskita was appointed through a presidential regulation which was signed in late October. The estimated project cost of Rp 7 trillion will be funded by the state budget through the Transportation Ministry.
The LRT project is part of President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's plan to build similar transportation projects in a number of big cities nationwide, including in Surabaya (East Java) and Bandung (West Java).
In September, Jokowi broke ground on the country's first LRT project, which will span 86 kilometers across Greater Jakarta. The construction will be carried out by a consortium of contractors led by state-run firm Adhi Karya.
Antonius had previously said the Palembang project was expected to significantly boost his company's new contracts starting next year although there was no exact value yet.
As for this year, the company had initially targeted to see its new contracts reach Rp 22.7 trillion, before it pocketed Rp 5.3 trillion through a state capital injection and equity issuance earlier this year and raised its contract projection to Rp 41 trillion.
Antonius said the company had secured Rp 24 trillion by the end of September, and the figure had yet to include a power transmission project in Sumatra and a number of toll road projects.
As previously reported, Waskita is working with state electricity company PLN to build a 500 kilovolt transmission project in Sumatra, which will span 395 kilometers and absorb Rp 6.7 trillion of investment.
Waskita, according to the company's financial report published on Friday, recorded a bottom line of Rp 400.29 billion between January and September, skyrocketing from Rp 129.15 billion booked in the same period last year.
The significant increase in its bottom line was supported by a 40.53-percent growth in the company's revenue, reaching Rp 7.42 trillion during the reported period.
Waskita's financial performance deflected the overall trend of the construction business, which has been performing poorly nationwide throughout the year due to sluggish government infrastructure spending.
Antonious said most of the projects that had contributed to the company's performance were acquired last year. These included the Rp 5.4 trillion Bekasi-Cawang-Kampung Melayu (Becakayu) toll road project and the Rp 5.2 trillion Pejagan-Pemalang toll road in Central Java.
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