Thu, 04 Dec 2003

Construction of monumental new seaport commences

Sandy Darmosumarto, The Jakarta Post, Banten

The construction of the Bojonegara International Port (BIP) in Banten started on Wednesday, with President Megawati Soekarnoputri, accompanied by other ministers, inaugurating the start of the work. When completed, it will be the country's largest seaport.

According to Abdullah Syaifuddin, the director of state-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II (Pelindo II), the port will be built in three phases. The first phase will last from 2003 to 2010, when container throughput is expected to reach 153,000 twenty-feet equivalent units (TEU).

By the end of this period, it is expected that 300 meters of container dock, 15 hectares of container yards, 5,000 square meters of stacking warehouses and 3 hectares of stacking yards will have been constructed, while 2 container cranes, 6 rubber- tired gantry cranes (RTG), 2 reach stackers and 10 of trucks will be operating at the port.

The next phase is expected to take place from 2010 to 2014, during which time more terminals will be constructed and more port equipment will be provided. In addition, the stacking yards will also be enlarged.

Phase three is expected to take 12 years, from 2014 to 2025. During this phase, the container and general cargo terminals will be expanded, and special dedicated wharves will be constructed.

It is expected that the port will start operating in 2007, at which time the port authority envisages the BIP as handling large-sized ships with capacities of between 5,000 and 8,000 TEUs.

When fully completed, the BIP will have five terminals and a capacity of 2.4 million TEUs. The port is expected to be the largest in the country, with a depth of 16 meters at low water springs (LWS), potentially replacing the dominant role of Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, which is currently the country's largest and busiest port.

State Minister for State Enterprises Laksamana Sukardi commented that "around 80 percent of shipments into and out of Indonesia are transshipped through ports in Malaysia and Singapore, as a result of which "we incur a US$1.09 billion yearly loss in foreign exchange." This is mainly because of the limited capacity of local ports in handling large shipments.

The governor of Banten, Munandar, stated that access to the port would need to improvement, and a good communications system required. He added that the new port would need about Rp 5 trillion to 6 trillion in investment in electrical infrastructure.

The port will work in conjunction with another port planned to be built at Tanjung Perak, East Java. The BIP will facilitate shipments to the western Java provinces of Jakarta, Banten and West Java. The rest would go through Tanjung Perak.

Laksamana said that the total investment in the construction of the BIP would be Rp 6.5 trillion with Rp 3.5 trillion be taken from the state budget to finance the provision of basic infrastructure. Private domestic and foreign investments, as well as funding from the provincial government, would cover the remainder.

He added that the "total investment in the construction of the Tanjung Perak port will amount to Rp 6 trillion."

It is expected that the BIP port will become a hub port for shipments in the region, a facility integrated with industry in its hinterland, and capable of contributing to regional economic growth and providing jobs for the people of the area.

However, some students in the Bojonegara-Puloampel region fear that local people will not enjoy the trickle-down effect from the port's development. The students staged a rally outside the compound where the ceremony was taking place.

Key Facts (2025):

Total area (including industrial area) 500 Ha

Pier length 3,000 meters

Channel depth -16 meters LWS

Gullly depth varied -10, -12 and -16 meters LWS

Area of container yard 96 hectares

Area of open storage 84 hectares

Area of warehouse 5 hectares

Container crane 24 units

Rubber tyred gantry (RTG) crane 72 units

Reach stacker 6 units

Head truck 120 units

Source: Pelindo II