Fri, 17 Mar 2000

Port operators cash in on privatization

JAKARTA (JP): State-managed operators of the country's two busiest ports reported massive profits on Wednesday for 1999 following the successful partial privatization of their container terminal facilities last year.

PT Pelabuhan Indonesia III (Pelindo III), which operates Tanjung Perak Port in Surabaya, made a pretax profit of Rp 1.02 trillion, up from Rp 304.15 billion in 1998, following the US$173.76 million sale of a 49 percent stake in PT Terminal Peti Kemas Surabaya (TPS) in April, president Sumardi said on Wednesday.

The stake was sold to Peninsular and Oriental Australia (P&O Port Pty Ltd.), Sumardi told a hearing with House Commission IV, which deals with infrastructure and transportation affairs.

P&O Port Pty Ltd. was picked from three other bidders -- Stevedoring Services of the United States, International Container Terminal Services Inc. of the Philippines and French port of Marseille -- for the stake in the Surabaya container terminal.

Pelindo III operates 38 ports in Central and East Java, Bali, East and West Nusa Tenggara, and South and Central Kalimantan.

Pelindo II, which is based in Jakarta, made a Rp 1.15 trillion pretax profit, thanks to the Rp 1.03 trillion sale of a 51 percent stake in PT Jakarta International Container Terminal (JITC), president Herman Prayitno told the same hearing.

Grossbeak Ltd., a unit of Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa, acquired the JITC stake in April.

"We will restructure the terminal into a world class port, adapting technology support and fixing the infrastructure for big ships," Herman said.

The terminal's productivity rose 28.5 percent after five months of operation under the new company, JITC said. Ten new service calls have been added to the terminal since then.

Herman said Pelindo II was currently preparing to make an initial price offering (IPO), expected in 2001.

Besides operating the Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta, Pelindo II also manages ports in Sumatra, West Java and South Kalimantan.

The government has also listed Pelindo II among state enterprises to be privatized in the next fiscal year beginning April 1. (07)