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Jakarta Post

Kuala Tanjung Port attracts foreign investors

Khoirul Amin
Jakarta   ●   Fri, May 29, 2015

A number of foreign investors have expressed an interest in developing Kuala Tanjung Port in North Sumatra and the surrounding areas.

Companies from China, Japan and the Netherlands have shown an interest in financing the development of the port and its nearby areas, said Bambang Eka Cahyana, president director of state port operator Pelindo I on Wednesday.

'€œTianjin Port, for example, has sent a letter of interest to us,'€ he said after a hearing with the House of Representatives'€™ Commission VI overseeing state-owned enterprises.

Tianjin Port Co. Ltd. is the Chinese company that developed the Tianjin Port, the largest port in northern China and the main gateway to China'€™s capital city of Beijing.

Other Chinese companies interested in the Kuala Tanjung port project are China Harbour Engineering Co. Ltd. and China Communications Construction Co. Ltd. (CCCC), according to Bambang.

'€œJapanese integrated trading and investment business group Marubeni Co. and Dutch developer Port of Rotterdam are also interested in participating in the project,'€ he went on.

Located close to the busy waters of the Malacca Strait, Kuala Tanjung will be the country'€™s largest transit hub once finished.

Pelindo I has revealed that loading-traffic in the Malacca Strait hit 50 million twenty equivalent units (TEUs) a year, of which 30 million TEUs were served by the Port of Singapore, five million by Malaysia'€™s Port Klang and remaining 15 million at Indonesian ports.

Kuala Tanjung is planned to have a total capacity of no fewer than 2 million TEUs by 2019.

The construction of Kuala Tanjung is divided into four phases, namely the developments of a multipurpose terminal, an industrial estate, a transshipment center and a residential area.

In the first phase, Pelindo I plans to complete development by end of next year and to start operating the terminal in the first quarter of 2017.

The multipurpose terminal will require a total investment of Rp 4.54 trillion (US$343.9 million).

Pelindo I will finance the project from both equity and loans which will cover 30 percent and 70 percent of the project, respectively.

Pelindo I previously signed a loan-facility agreement worth Rp 3.18 trillion with state-lenders Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI).

The firm will also use around Rp 500 billion from its cash and cash equivalents, which currently stands at Rp 1.2 trillion, to finance the first phase of development.

The remaining funds, meanwhile, will come from state-owned construction firms PT Pembangunan Perumahan (PTPP) and PT Waskita Karya

Pelindo I is reviewing possibility of booking between Rp 1 trillion and Rp 1.5 trillion from the bond market to support further development of Kuala Tanjung.

'€œApart from that, we'€™re thinking about filing a proposal with the government to get a state-capital injection should it be necessary,'€ Bambang said.

House Commission VI deputy chairman, Heri Gunawan, said the commission welcomed the government'€™s ambitious plan for Kuala Tanjung, but would closely scrutinize the process.