Call to Speed Up Cilamaya Seaport in 2014

Jakarta. The government has yet to find solutions to problems holding up the long-delayed Cilamaya Seaport project in West Java, since its announcement two years ago.

Under the its original plan, the port was set to be operational by 2017.

The Cilamaya port is expected to ease congestion at the country’s main Tanjung Priok port in North Jakarta and to support the nearby Karawang industrial areas. But progress is blocked by gas and oil pipelines belonging to Pertamina, the state energy company, which if removed, could disrupt energy supply to industrial areas and the Greater Jakarta area.

“This is why we must discuss the matter thoroughly. I have asked a team to study the project with Pertamina,” Hatta Rajasa, the economy minister, told the Jakarta Globe over the weekend.

Cilamaya Seaport is one of the flagship projects in President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s economic development master plan, also known as MP3EI, which will see the country spend over Rp 4,000 trillion ($350 billion) over the next decade.

The Japanese government has pledged its commitment to help with the financing of the Cilamaya project, estimated to cost around Rp 10 trillion.

Several Japanese companies, including Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMI) and Honda Prospect Motor, have their manufacturing plants in Karawang, which is about 45 kilometers southwest of the proposed port.

The companies currently only rely on Tanjung Priok port, some 45 kilometers northwest of Karawang, for their shipping requirements. A World Bank study showed Indonesia’s busiest port to be overloaded already, with shipments having to wait for almost a week for port clearance.

Masahiro Nonami, TMMI’s president director, said last month that the port would help the company enjoy greater access when it exports its engine products.

Ali Mundakir, Pertamina’s corporate spokesman, said separately on Monday that the oil and gas pipeline in the area was important to supply consumers. The state energy company transports 40,000 barrels of oil and 190 million cubic feet of gas per day through its pipelines.

“It’s vital for the power plant in the Greater Jakarta area. It’s also vital to supply gas to the Kujang fertilizer factory, which supports farms in the area,” Ali said.

Hatta said he was still confident that the project would start soon.

Luki Eko Wuryanto, deputy minister for infrastructure and area development at the Coordinating Ministry of Economy Affairs, said a study was underway to find a solution to the pipeline issue.

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