Saturday, May 23, 2015


 Jakarta, May 23, 2015 (Antara) -- Throughout his presidential election campaign, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had emphasized on reviving the country's past, on finding riches at sea, and had termed it as one of his ambitions.
        As he was inaugurated as Indonesia' seventh president in October 2014, he declared his vision of transforming Indonesia into a global maritime axis. 
   A crucial step toward his maritime axis idea is enhancing inter-island connectivity and upgrading port infrastructure within the Indonesian archipelago, which comprises more than 17 thousand islands and spans nearly 6 million square kilometers.

        Many of these islands remain unconnected to their neighbors, and as a consequence, they act as self-sufficient economies not contributing to or benefitting from national economic production and distribution processes.
        Therefore, the Jokowi administration has prioritized the development of infrastructure to improve the country's inter-island connectivity as well as seaport facilities to support the maritime axis ambition.
        Two projects---the revitalization of the Surabaya Western Shipping Route (APBS) and the construction of the Lamong Bay terminal---were inaugurated by President Jokowi in Surabaya, East Java, on May 22.
        "I can only imagine that the Kuala Tanjung seaport in Belawan is as big as the one in Surabaya and then the Tanjung Priok seaport. (The construction work on the projects in) Makassar and Sorong will begin in July or August," the president remarked while officiating Surabaya's Tanjung Perak seaport's facilities.
        All logistics systems in those seaports will be integrated nationally to reduce the logistics costs by half or one-third, he emphasized.
        "We are facing international competition, and if we do not lower (the prices of goods), it will be difficult to be competitive. Therefore, we should reduce trucking, loading, and unloading costs," Jokowi stated.
        The president lauded state-owned port operator Pelindo III for expanding the Tajung Perak seaport and building the Lamong Bay terminal. 
   The country will continue to develop seaport facilities to increase its freight capacity, he added.
        The revitalization of the shipping line and the construction of the new terminal in East Java are expected to support the country's vision to become a global maritime axis, Director of Pelindo III Djarwo Surjanto said in a press statement.
        The APBS will provide access to the Tanjung Perak seaport and its surrounding areas. The revitalization project has deepened access to minus 13 Low Water Spring (LWS) meters and widened it to 150 meters to enable the entry of ships weighing up to 80 thousand Dead Weight Tonnage (DWT) in the port.    
   Earlier, the APBS had a depth of only 9.5 LWS and a width of 100 meters, allowing ships with only certain measurements to pass.
        According to Secretary of PT Pelindo III Yon Irawan, only ships measuring 15,000 DWT could pass through the APBS earlier.
        Pelindo III has planned to develop the Tanjung Perak seaport into the Greater Surabaya Metropolitan Port.
        The new Lamong Bay terminal, which is located between Surabaya and Gresik and is worth an investment of Rp4.65 trillion, is the most sophisticated port in the country and the fourth most in the world after Virginia in the United States, Barcelona in Spain, and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.
        The new terminal uses an automatic and environmentally-friendly system for its operations.
        Technique and Information Technology Director of Pelindo III Husein Latief stated that in the first phase of the development project, the Lamong Bay terminal will cover an area of 40 hectares.
        The construction of the terminal began in 2010 and was completed in 2014. This terminal will be used to serve domestic and international containers as well as standard dry bulk cargo ships. The construction cost Rp3.29 trillion.
        The terminal has a handling capacity of 500 thousand twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of domestic containers and one million TEUs of international containers per year.
        The terminal for dry bulk cargo ships, which will be ready in 2016, has a capacity of 5 million tons.
        Irawan further noted that following the completion of the APBS revitalization and the development of the Teluk Lamong terminal, competitiveness of Indonesia as a maritime country will improve.
        "The completion of the two big projects of Pelindo III is expected to be able to spur the revival of the maritime sector in Indonesia, especially in the sectors of logistics and ports," he affirmed.
        Earlier, President Jokowi had stressed on the importance of developing sea connectivity among the islands of the country to develop the economy and all other sectors.
        "We must focus on the sea because two-thirds of Indonesian territory is the sea. In view of that, connectivity among islands is important," he said while inaugurating the development of the Makassar New Port in Makassar, South Sulawesi.
        He added, "The cheapest (transport) service is by ship, and with regard to sea connectivity, the development of a sea toll road will play a crucial role in ensuring good competition and cheaper costs."
   The president stated that with good connectivity, the cost of distribution of goods will also drop.
        Moreover, the government has decided to give funding to port operating company PT Pelindo in the eastern region, the head of state revealed.
        "Projects in the eastern region must be given capital injection because they will not proceed unless they receive funding. Therefore, Pelindo IV will be given capital injection. I am confident that in three to four years' time, all prices in the country will drop and competitiveness of our industrial products will increase," he affirmed.
(T.F001/A/BESSR/Bustanuddin) 23-05-2015 23:2

No comments:

Post a Comment