Courtesy of IndonesiaInvestments.com
7 Infrastructure Projects to Begin Before New Administration Takes Over
Jakarta. At least seven infrastructure projects are expected to start construction before the current administration leaves its post a mere three months from now, according to Chairul Tanjung, the Coordinating Minister for the Economy.
A majority of these projects are located outside the densely-populated Java island, in an attempt to equally spread the benefits of economic development, according to Indonesia’s chief economist, who addressed the press after a meeting on infrastructure with high-ranking government officials on Wednesday.
The government may see the groundbreaking of a Rp 355 trillion ($29.8 billion) trans-Sumatra toll road before October.
“We hope to start construction on the Bakaheuni-Lampung, Palembang-Indralaya, Medan-Binjai and Pekanbaru-Dumai sections before the end of our term,” Chairul, adding that a government team is currently reviewing the legal aspects of the project in order to issue a Presidential Decree. The toll road will be financed through a bridging loan from the State Investment Agency, Chairul said.
The government also plans to start construction on a toll road connecting Manado and Bitung in North Sulawesi, a venture that is estimated to cost Rp 4.3 trillion.
Meanwhile, work on a Rp 7 trillion railroad connecting Makassar and Pare-Pare — the first in Sulawesi — will start next month, according to the minister.
Also to start before October is the construction of a Rp 12.2 trillion transmission network that will connect Sumatra with the Java-Bali power grid through undersea cables, he added.
Chairul dismissed allegations accusing the rushed groundbreaking as the current administration’s last ditch effort to leave office with a tangible legacy.
“It we do it today, then it [the projects] will be easier for the next administration, because the most difficult and time-consuming part of an infrastructure project is the groundbreaking.”
Also discussed in Wednesday’s meeting was the current state of Central Java’s 2,000-megawatt, coal-fired power plant in the Batang regency, which is slated to be the world’s largest, but is running severely behind schedule.
The project is still short of 20 hectares of land needed before construction can commence, according to Chairul.
“We will give provincial official one final chance to acquire the land. If they fail, we will step in by using the Land Acquisition Law, which will come into full effect next year,” Chairul said referring to the 2012 law that expedites the tedious process of land acquisition for public interest.