ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Govt will no longer involve JICA in new seaport feasibility study
Indonesia: The government will no longer involve the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in the upcoming feasibility study for a new seaport location after the planned Cilamaya Port in Karawang, West Java, was canceled.
National Development Planning Board (Bappenas) deputy chief for infrastructure Dedy S. Priatna said the feasibility study should be conducted using state funds under the supervision of the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister and Bappenas.
“The feasibility study should be done independently using the state budget to avoid conflicts of interest,” Dedy told reporters on Tuesday.
Dedy said the government was currently discussing a plan to relocate the Cilamaya Port farther east to Subang, Indramayu, or even Cirebon, in West Java and that the preliminary study could take up to nine months and cost up to US$2 million.
The development of the Cilamaya Port was meant to support the country’s biggest port, Tanjung Priok in North Jakarta. The port was also expected to facilitate the flow of goods to and from industrial estates in surrounding areas that house automotive, electronics, machinery and information technology manufacturers.
It was one of five flagship projects under the Metropolitan Priority Area (MPA) for Investment and Industry stipulated in bilateral agreements between Indonesia and Japan.
The feasibility study of the port was fully conducted by JICA. According to Dedy, the cost of the study amounted to between $2.5 million and $3 million.
Earlier this month, Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that the long-awaited Cilamaya seaport project would be moved farther east to a new site in the northern coastal area of West Java to accommodate the expansion of state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina’s offshore operations near the location of the planned Cilamaya
According to Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Indroyono Soesilo, there were a total of 203 platforms along the northern coast of Java, 168 of which were over productive oil and gas wells.
The government previously planned to axe the project over concerns that hundreds of hectares of rice fields would be lost to accommodate construction, thus detracting from the government’s food self-sufficiency objectives.
The chairperson of the Indonesian National Shipowners Association (INSA), Carmelita Hartoto, separately said that Cilamaya remained the best location to support Tanjung Priok.
She said Cilamaya was located only 30 kilometers from the Karawang industrial estates, much closer than Tanjung Priok, which is located 70 km from Karawang. Meanwhile, the distance between Jakarta and Subang is around
“We urgently need a new port as an alternative to the crowded and inefficient Tanjung Priok Port, so the government should not waste more time by redoing a feasibility study and just go ahead with the previous plan of constructing Cilamaya,” Carmelita said on Wednesday.
“Should they insist on relocating the port, the new location should not be too far from Cilamaya. Otherwise no investors will be interested in the project,” she added.
Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan previously said that the economic impact of constructing the Cilamaya port would be greater than that of canceling it, saying that the port should only be relocated a few kilometers from the initially plannedlocation.
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