Mon, 30 Aug 2010

From: The Jakarta Globe

By Dion Bisara
Jakarta. The first phase of construction on a much-needed railway connecting Tanjung Priok Port with the country’s largest manufacturing park could be completed within three months, the coordinating minister for the economy, Hatta Rajasa, said on Saturday.

Hatta said the railway, which would be used to transport containers from the Cikarang Dry Port at West Java’s Jababeka industrial estate, would help take some of the burden off the heavily congested roads leading to Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta.

“The Cikarang railway should be finished in three months, so containers from the dry port can be delivered here by train,” Hatta said. “We hope with this railway we can increase industry productivity and capacity because of the faster delivery.”

He said the first phase of the railway connected Cikarang with Pasoso Station - two kilometers from Tanjung Priok - and could transport 100 containers a day. The government did not reveal the cost of the first phase.

Hatta said he expected construction on the rail link connecting the first phase with Tanjung Priok to be completed by 2012.

“The second phase of the railway will stretch to the port itself,” he said, adding the next phase would require some Rp 35 billion ($3.9 million) to remove 190 houses currently located in the rail line’s path. The finished line will run 51.4 kilometers.

Located at the heart of the Jababeka, the country’s largest industrial zone, the Cikarang Dry Port serves as an extension of Tanjung Priok, providing one-stop export and import services for more than 2,500 companies, from multinationals to local small and medium enterprises.

Port and customs clearance for containers from Jababeka can be completed at Cikarang before transportation to Tanjung Priok. “Tanjung Priok will just be a handling port if all the customs procedures have been completed at the dry port,” Hatta said.

The Cikarang railway project is part of broader government efforts to increase economic growth by expanding the country’s inadequate infrastructure.

The government also has plans to expand Tanjung Priok’s capacity over the next five years with four new terminals, a project that is expected to carry a price tag of Rp 22 trillion.

The revamp is planned to more than double the port’s ability to handle cargo.