Indonesia: Govt pursues key projects with Japan, incl Jakarta-Surabaya railway

  • Indonesia is pushing for faster progress on infrastructure projects carried out in cooperation with Japan.
  • Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi met with high-ranking officials in Japan to discuss several projects, including the second and third phases of Jakarta’s MRT, the Jakarta-Surabaya semi-fast railway project and an international-standard motor vehicle proving ground in Bekasi, West Java.
  • Budi, accompanied by Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Heri Akhmadi and House of Representatives Deputy Speaker Rahmat Gobel, met with Japan’s Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Minister Tetsuo Saito, Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) governor Tadashi Maeda and other stakeholders.
  • During his visit, Budi asked the Japanese government to accelerate the contract and funding commitment negotiations as well as studies on the 87-kilometer East-West corridor of the Jakarta MRT Phase 3 project.
  • “We discussed how these projects could proceed better and faster. For the continuation of the MRT project, a guarantee of funding from Japan will be signed in the near future. This is a [good sign] that the MRT construction will continue,” Budi said.
  • The transportation minister also invited Japanese investors to participate in the construction and development of transit-oriented development (TOD) facilities around MRT stations.
  • MRT Jakarta president director William Sabandar said at the same event that the Japanese government would provide additional financial support for the construction of MRT Phase 2, or the connection between the stations of Bundaran HI and West Ancol.
  • “The Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency [JICA], has also committed to funding for Jakarta MRT Phase 3. For the time being, they are focusing on the first segment, the 23-km Tomang-Ujung Menteng [route],” said William, without specifying the amount of investment for the segment.
  • The Indonesian government is also pushing for a feasibility study on the Jakarta-Surabaya semi-fast railway project. Upon completion, the route is expected to be traveled in six hours.
  • Finally, Budi encouraged the Japanese government to provide support for the Indonesia-Japan consortium to obtain funding at a competitive value.
  • “Support from Japanese investors or financial institutions is very much needed to be able to provide low interest rates, below commercial interest rates,” Budi said.
  • The planned proving ground would add 19 new testing facilities to the ministry’s existing vehicle testing site (BPLJSKB) in Bekasi.
  • The new facilities will test, among other aspects, vehicle emissions, noise levels, crash safety and mirror view in accordance with the United Nations Regulation (UNR), a standard universally recognized by Southeast Asian countries through the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA).
  • Finally, the Patimban container and mobility ports are still targeted for completion in 2024. Currently, Budi is pushing to accelerate development project bids for packages 5 and 6, targeted for signing this year.

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