Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - Banda Aceh is being prepared to have a seaport for very large ships by 2014, Aceh Governor Irwandi Yusuf said here Saturday.
"We are preparing Banda Aceh to have a hard port or a seaport for very large ships, ships too large to pass through the Malacca Strait," the governor said.
He said Banda Aceh was strategically located to serve as point of transit for very large ships and could thus also become a gateway to western Indonesia, a position now held by Medan in North Sumatra,
The existence of such a seaport was expected to boost Aceh province`s economic activities through its multiplier effect, Irwandi said.
The Aceh provincial government now already had a master-plan related to the envisaged hard port which included the construction of various supporting facilities.
Among those facilities would be an oil refinery and an oil storage complex on Sabang Island to supply fuel to feeder ships from China and Singapore.
Irwandi said the hard port plan had been devised also in anticipation of the free trade era beginning in 2012.
"The hard port may not yet be fully ready by 2012 but it must be by 2014," he said.(*)