Port operator Pelabuhan Indonesia III and construction company Adhi Karya plan to begin building a Rp 2.5 trillion ($257 million) automated container transporter this year that will connect Tanjung Perak Port and the under-construction Teluk Lamong Port in Surabaya.
“We will realize it soon,” said Husein Latif, the commercial and business development director at Pelindo III. The ACT will transport containers on a 5.6-kilometer elevated, single-railed track between the old and new port, avoiding traffic congestion in the surrounding area.
Husein said that the companies, which are both state-owned, have completed a feasibility study covering financial, commercial, technical and legal aspects of the project. He said they could begin construction in the next 12 months.
“This is the first in the world, a monorail that will transport containers fully automatically,” Husein said.
Industri Kereta Api (INKA), the engineering arm of the national rail company, has been hired to design and produce the ACT. INKA will use up to 70 percent of domestic raw materials for the ACT train, Husein said. The ACT will run on electricity to save costs on fuel, he added, while its elevated track will not impede any existing infrastructure.
But Husein declined to say how many containers the ACT would handle in a day.
The construction of Teluk Lamong Port is intended to help reduce the burden on the overcrowded Tanjung Perak Port. The cost to build the Teluk Lamongan site is estimated at Rp 3.4 trillion, with its operation set to begin in 2014.
Last week, Pelindo III secured a $65 million loan from Australia-based ANZ bank to finance the construction of Teluk Lamong Port. The loan from ANZ Indonesia matures in five years and carries a 5.35 percent interest rate.
Pelindo III’s plan is part of an effort to help the country’s long-term development map — the Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Growth (MP3EI).
Tanjung Perak is the country’s second-busiest seaport and serves as the main gateway for shipments of raw commodities from eastern Indonesia, with capacity to accommodate 3 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) a year.
Pelindo III estimated that Tanjung Perak would have to deal with 3.8 million TEUs a year in 2014. Teluk Lamong is expected to take over most of its activities because it will be able to accommodate much larger vessels and provide more space for containers.
Pelindo III operates seaports in seven provinces — East Java, Central Java, Bali, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara — and has a fundamental role to play in ferrying commodities and people around the archipelago.
High logistics costs — a result of poor infrastructure — have long been considered a crucial factor constraining Indonesia’s economic potential and exacerbating the development gap between provinces across the country.
The government has estimated that the country’s logistics expenditure would be equivalent to 27 percent of gross domestic product this year. The MP3EI forecasts gross domestic product increasing more than sixfold over the next 14 years, requiring Rp 4,000 trillion in investment.