The Jakarta Post
The Transportation Ministry signed an agreement on Tuesday with the Industry Ministry and state-owned plantation firm PTPN III to take over the operations of a newly constructed railway connecting the special economic zone (KEK) of Sei Mangkei with Perlanaan Station in Simalungun, North Sumatra.
The 2.95-kilometer railway is part of a 30-km track connecting KEK Sei Mangkei to Kuala Tanjung Port, which is being developed into one of the largest ports in the country.
"With the agreement, we are responsible for maintaining the railway track to help improve operations at KEK Sei Mangkei," Transportation Ministry railway director general Zulfikri said after the signing ceremony in Jakarta.
Before the agreement, the railway was under the management of the special economic zone, while the PTPN III was the land owner. Under the deal, state-owned railway operator KAI will take over the railway’s operations.
The railway has been transporting crude palm oil (COP) from KEK Sei Mangkei to Belawan Port, a 139 km journey that requires four hours.
“Meanwhile, the length of a KEK Sei Mangkei-Kuala Tanjung Port trip is only 40 minutes. The railway can transport 750 tons [of CPO] per trip,” Zulfikri said, adding that the railway will also be used for public transportation.
The project will be completed in July, he said.
Tenants of the KEK, a 2,000-hectare strategic zone, largely produce fatty acids, fatty alcohol, surfactant, biodiesel and biogas that use palm oil as a raw material. (bbn)