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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs             27  July 2011

Port planned for West Papua

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State port operator Pelindo II plans to start building a new port in Sorong, West Papua, as soon as next year, as part of government efforts to reduce logistical and shipping costs to the remote eastern region.

Richard Joost Lino, president director of Pelindo II, said on Tuesday that the company had formed a consortium with major shippers including Samudera Indonesia, Meratus Line, Salam Pacific Indonesia Lines, and Temas Line to build the port, which will cost Rp 1 trillion (US$118 million).

“Pelindo will act as the leader in the consortium, and we will contribute 30 percent [of the cost],” he said. “We will put the project up for tender [for contractors] later this year while construction will start early next year.”

West Pacific Port, which will replace the existing Sorong Port, will be able to handle 750,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) once it is completed in 2013, Richard said.

Sorong Port can handle 25,000 TEUs, while cargo traffic to the region averages 700,000 TEUs a year, he said.

West Pacific Port, Richard added, would also serve as a regional port for traffic to and from Papua New Guinea and the Bismark Islands, East Timor, Darwin in Australia, New Zealand and New Caledonia. The new port is also expected to halve distribution costs to Papua, he said.

Pelindo II operates 12 seaports across the archipelago, including the busiest, Tanjung Priok, in North Jakarta.

Analysts have said that Indonesia must boost the development of infrastructure such as roads, airports and seaports to create more jobs and achieve its target of 7 percent economic growth by 2014.


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