by Faisal Maliki Baskoro
In a bid to improve connectivity, the government is set to open a tender to build a Rp 20 trillion ($2.3 billion) dock terminal at Tanjung Priok port, an official said at a national infrastructure forum.
Bambang Susantono, the deputy transportation minister, said late on Tuesday that the pre-qualification tender process for the North Kalibaru terminal would be open to investors by the end of this month or early next month.
“Bidders for the tender must be experienced seaport operators. Foreign operators are allowed to bid, but they will have to form a consortium with local companies,” he said.
State port operator Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II), which oversees North Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok along with 11 other ports, has expressed its interest in investing in the project. If approved, the project is expected to finish by 2014, Pelindo II president director Richard J. Lino said.
“We’re ready and we feel that we are the most prepared for this project,” he said on the sidelines of the Indonesia International Infrastructure Conference, which is hosted by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).
Lino’s statement was a reversal of his stance in the day. State news agency Antara reported that he was upset over the state’s lack of support for Pelindo II’s operations and that the company had not been given a role in Tanjung Priok’s expansion from the Transportation Ministry.
He has insisted Tanjung Priok must expand, with the port to exceed its capacity of five million 20-foot equivalent units this year.
“Last year, containers grew by 25 percent to 4.7 million TEUs. We expect that this year and in the years to come, it will grow by the same percentage. Without a new terminal, we will struggle with overcapacity,” he said.
Pelindo II’s plan for North Kalibar includes a 3.5-kilometer terminal with a capacity of 6.5 million TEUs.
“A new terminal would also mean reduced loading time for ships. Coupled with our investment in new cranes for loading containers, we may reduce freight costs by 50 percent,” he said.
Reducing freight costs will improve competitiveness across the whole economy, Lino said.
“Reducing freight costs will help companies boost their profits by cutting distribution costs. They can also reduce prices,” he said.
“Logistics costs in Indonesia are very high. Transporting goods from West Sumatra to Jakarta is more expensive than from Singapore to Jakarta. Cement is 10 times more expensive in Papua than Jakarta.”