The Jakarta Post
West Sumatra's new container terminal Teluk Bayur Port, on the western coast of Sumatra, was officially opened on Monday by West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno. The governor was accompanied by Minister of State-Owned Enterprises Dahlan Iskan.
The terminal, managed by state-run port administrator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (IPC), will be the first container terminal in West Sumatra since the Dutch colonial administration built Teluk Bayur Port in 1888.
Teluk Bayur Port general manager Dalsaf Usman said the terminal, measuring 46,886 square meters, cost Rp 675 billion (US$69.52 million) and could accommodate more than 4,000 containers, adding that the port was equipped with 12 docks measuring 1,623 meters in length and a depth of -10 mean low water springs (MLWS).
The terminal is also equipped with giant loading and unloading equipment, three jetty cranes, three Rubber-tired Gantry (ETG) cranes and side loaders.
'The port can accommodate three container ships at once and the new equipment will increase loading and unloading from only five containers per hour to 18 containers per hour,' said Dalsaf.
The merchant ship traffic in Teluk Bayur has been increasing since 2008, when the number of containers was still 48,503 20-foot equivalent unit (TEUs), by 2012 the number had risen to 61,808 TEUs. Dalsaf estimated that Teluk Bayur Port would be able to serve more than 68,000 TEUs this year.
Many shipping companies had complained that their ships had to queue for up to 18 days before docking at the port prompting businesspeople to shift to terrestrial transportation.
IPC managing director RJ Lino said Teluk Bayur had the potential to be a catalyst for the economy.
'Port efficiency could accelerate the nation's economic growth, which is why IPC's wishes to further develop port infrastructure across the archipelago. IPC will gradually develop ports outside Java for the sake of achieving a balanced economy,' added Lino.
Governor Irwan expressed optimism that the modern facilities at Teluk Bayur would also have a positive impact on economic growth in the province as well as in neighboring provinces
'Teluk Bayur Port's renovation works began at the end of 2011 and there was a profit of Rp 36 billion in 2012. This year I'm sure we could reach an income target of Rp 150 billion. I'm convinced that the break-even point could be reached in the next four or five years,' he said.
'The Teluk Bayur modernization project will further push the economy in West Sumatra. Resources from the province, such as coal, cement, gold, iron ore, palm oil, rubber and cacao need a port for shipment and production is sure to increase thanks to the modernization of Teluk Bayur,' the governor said.
Dahlan said he was positive the port renovation would facilitate entrepreneurs and boost the economy in West Sumatra and that Teluk Bayur would once again play a central role in the area's economic growth.
'I'm convinced that many ships will dock at the port given the reduction in waiting time,' the minister.