The Jakarta Post
As many as 60 prospective investors have expressed interest in a mass rapid transit (MRT) project worth around Rp 8.6 trillion (US$704 million) planned by the Surabaya administration.
The matter was disclosed by Surabaya Mayor Tri Rismaharini recently in Surabaya, after greeting investors who have expressed interest in the project, in a forum called 'Market Sounding of Surabaya Monorail and Tram Investment Project.'
Of the 60 companies attending the event, 60 percent of them hailed from Spain, Germany, Finland, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and China, while the remaining 40 percent were domestic investors.
Risma said that of the Rp 8.6 trillion, 40 percent would be covered by the state budget. The Surabaya administration has required prospective investors to follow a tender process before the administration prepares a pre-qualification round that is expected to begin next year. Investors are required to prepare initial funds of Rp 8.6 trillion and guarantee funds during the construction phase.
'If a foreign investor wins the tender, it must work together with a local investor and form a consortium to carry out the project,' Risma said.
The monorail network will connect East Surabaya and West Surabaya at a distance of around 20 kilometers, while the tram line will link South Surabaya and North Surabaya at a distance of 16 km.
The Surabaya administration's program development head Dedi Irianto said that the potential risk of stoppage during the construction phase due to land acquisition was minimal because the monorail would run on an elevated track.
'We don't have to acquire a lot of private land because most of the locations passed by the MRT are owned by the Surabaya administration,' Dedi told reporters.
The administration has also formed a team of experts from the Surabaya's Sepuluh Nopember Institute of Technology (ITS), Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Yogyakarta's Gadjah Mada University (UGM), Airlangga University, the University of Indonesia (UI), Malang's Brawijaya University and the Public Works Ministry that will be involved in the project.
An investor, Franco Trisno Hartono, said the project had apparently drawn the interest of many investors, including companies engaged in the supply of software and hardware card payment technology for the MRT system.
'We may work together with the others in a consortium given the high value of the project,' said Franco, who has experience in the Trans Jogjakarta and Surakarta card payment technology project.
Malaysian-based investor Scomi International welcomed the project.
Sconi International senior general manager Syed Hussain Syed Junid said his company had experience in building monorail infrastructure in a number of countries, including Malaysia.
He said the total length of the future monorail line in Surabaya was less than 25 kilometers, while in Malaysia, the length of the monorail line was only around 17 km.
Director General of Railways at the Transportation Ministry Prasetyo Budi Cahyono said the central government fully supported the project, regardless of when it would be realized.
The central government appreciated the efforts made by the Surabaya administration to use mass transportation to curb traffic congestion.
'Not many provinces in Indonesia prefer using the transportation mode but Surabaya has made the right choice,' said Prasetyo.