Indonesia: Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway pushed back to 2023

  • The government expects the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project to face another setback as a result of geographical and geological obstacles hampering its construction.
  • President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said that the railway would enter operation by the end of Jun 23, half a year later than the previous target of Dec 22.
  • This is the latest in a series of delays to a project that was initially meant to be completed by the end of 2018.
  • “As per this date, the whole Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway has reached 79.9% of completion. We expect testing [to begin] by the end of 2022 and operations by [the end of] Jun 23,” Jokowi said during his visit to the site.
  • The delay also adds to the cost overrun on the project, which will weigh on the state budget, since Presidential Regulation No. 93/2021 issued in 2021 allows the government to finance the project or provide guarantees for more loans.
  • In Sep 21, the State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) Ministry estimated that the project had overrun its budget by IDR27.17tr to IDR113.9tr as a result of land-acquisition problems, overoptimistic planning and poor project management.
  • Jokowi expressed the hope that, once finished, the railway will ease traffic and increase mobility for people and freight in the area. PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China (KCIC), the consortium running the project, said on Monday it had anticipated the delay as an unforeseen event that had also been included in the cost overrun calculation.
  • The consortium added that it had been working on options to finance the cost overrun but had yet to decide as the process involved the government in negotiation.
  • The government has asked the management to cut costs as best as it can so that the cost overrun can be kept to a minimum.

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