The Jakarta Post
Indonesia and Japan signed a loan agreement on Friday in which the East Asian country has committed to providing Â¥140.051 billion (US$1.14 billion) to support several infrastructure and energy projects in this country, including Jakarta's Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system and an electricity transmission network.
The agreement was signed by Japanese Ambassador to Indonesia Yasuaki Tanizaki and the Foreign Ministry's director general for the Asia-Pacific and Africa, Yuri O. Thamrin.
The deal followed up Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement about the proposed assistance during President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo's visit to Japan in March.
The Â¥140.051 billion will be disbursed and distributed by 2019 for three specific projects. Up to Â¥75.2 billion will be used to develop the next phase of the MRT for the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta to Kampung Bandan in North Jakarta.
Currently, construction work is ongoing for the first phase of the north-south line from Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the traffic circle. The construction is expected to be finished in 2018.
Another 1.919 billion Yen will be used to develop phase one of the Jakarta MRT's east-west route, from Kampung Melayu in East Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle.
The Japanese Embassy's economic counsellor, Takuro Tasaka, however, said the east-west line project is still under preliminary discussion, meaning that Indonesia has yet to decide on the design and concept of the route.
'In accordance with the wishes of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Japan will continue to expand and stand by its commitment to help develop infrastructure in Indonesia. We feel that the Jakarta MRT would become a major transportation innovation here,' Tasaka said on Friday.
Japanese companies Shimizu, Tokyu, Obayashi and Sumitomo Mitsui are among those involved in the construction of the Jakarta MRT. Underground drilling for the project began in September.
Also in September, MRT Jakarta president director Dono Boestami said that 43 percent of the underground construction has been completed and 18 percent of the above-ground construction is finished.
Aside from the MRT project, a portion of the loan will be used for the construction of a transmission system that will deliver electricity between Java and Sumatra.
Up to Â¥62.9 billion will be spent on the project, which will also involve the construction of an electricity transmission station and an AC/DC converter station.
Tasaka added that parts of the electricity project are still currently in the tendering process, but a contractor has already been found to work on it.
Each of the three loans come with their own conditions: the one for the east-west Jakarta MRT project is subject to interest of 0.01 percent per year with a 25-year return period, while loan for the second phase of the north-south line carries an interest of 0.1 percent a year with a tied return period of 40 years.
The electricity project loan carries an interest of 1.4 percent per year with a return period of 25 years.
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