Panjang Port in Lampung ready to serve wide-body vessels


State-run port management company, PT Pelabuhan Indonesia (Pelindo II), is further modernizing the Panjang Port in Lampung to transform it into an international port as an alternative to the Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta.

Besides modernizing port facilities and equipment in order to improve services and work productivity, PT Pelindo II will also revitalize the railway track from Pidada to Panjang Port, stretching to 3 kilometers.

The presence of modern loading equipment has already minimized queuing time at the docks.
In 2010, as many as 30 ships queued at the port daily. In 2012, the number dropped to between three and six ships daily. Before the presence of new equipment, the unloading time for a ship at Panjang Port was 30 tons per gang hour (TGH).

“With the modernization of equipment and port infrastructure, we expect Panjang Port to offer zero waiting times in the near future. We also plan to expand the port area by reclaiming up to 30 hectares of the coast. In the initial phase, we plan to reclaim 5 hectares,” said PT Pelindo II general manager, Doso Agung, on Friday.

Doso added that goods from around Sumatra could be transported by train and directly loaded onto ships at the port should the railway lines be revived. Crude palm oil (CPO) from South Sumatra, Jambi and Bengkulu need no longer be transported by trucks for exporting from the port, thus saving time and money.

To revive the railway lines, PT Pelindo II and state railway firm PT KAI are currently holding technical discussions.

“We have reached an agreement. The project will commence next year. The railway line was built during Dutch colonial rule, but it has not been used for dozens of years. Should it be revived, it will increase efficiency in distributing goods that have so far relied on trucks,” Doso said.

Doso added that with the modernization of equipment and increasing the depth of the shipping lane around the docks, or Mean Low Water Spring (MLWS), up to 14 meters, large ships from Europe could now directly enter the docks at the port, so exporters did not have to send export goods from Tanjung Priok Port. The loading and unloading time will also be quicker compared to previous years, thanks to the modern equipment.

“Now, CPO consignments from Sumatra to Rotterdam, the Netherlands, can be directly carried out through Panjang Port, because the port’s performance is now the best in Sumatra and it is the main supporting port in the Sumatra region for Tanjung Priok Port,” he said.
The Panjang Port currently has four Gantry Jib cranes from China, each with a capacity of 40 tons, or 180 tons per hour per unit.

The improvements and additions have had a positive impact on ship arrivals at the port. In 2010, 2,402 ships arrived at the port. That number increased to 2,848 in 2011.
The flow of containers was recorded at 99,821 boxes in 2010, rising to 112,200 boxes in 2011, while the flow of goods in 2010 was 13.72 million tons, increasing to 15.51 million tons in 2011.
With the improved performance of Panjang Port, the Lampung provincial administration expects that Lampung can open an import route via the port. But, in order to achieve that, it has to wait for a decision from the industry and trade ministers.


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