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City to intensify efforts to build ‘Port of Jakarta’

The Jakarta administration, in cooperation with the Dutch government, is drafting the design of an international port, dubbed the Port of Jakarta, which will be built on three man-made islets, part of the city’s controversial reclamation project.

Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama said after closing a one-week workshop on the development of the islets and the port at City Hall on Friday that the city, assisted by experts from the Netherlands, would start to design the three islets, which would be named O, P and Q, as well as preparing for other administrative steps in realizing the project.

Ahok said several private companies, including those from the Netherlands such as Rabobank, had expressed an interest in investing in the project, which is expected to cost roughly Rp 134 trillion (US$9.7 billion).

“For the operation, city-owned property developer PT Jakarta Propertindo [Jakpro] will cooperate with state-owned companies like port operator Pelindo II and the operator of the industrial zone in North Jakarta, PT Kawasan Berikat Nusantara,” he said.

He added that the city administration would also form an asset management company. “We will start the construction in 2016,” Ahok said.

The governor said that since building the port would not necessarily be lucrative, the city administration would guarantee that it would buy back the islets from the companies that would construct them.

He said further cooperation and construction design would be handled by Jakpro. Ahok said he chose Jakpro because all the shares in the company were owned by the city administration. “A private company is also faster in executing projects such as drawing up the detailed engineering design,” he said.

He added that if the project was handled by a city-owned company it would be unaffected by him potentially leaving office in 2017.

Jakarta Development Planning Board (Bappeda) head Tuty Kusumawati said the workshop was aimed at providing input during the previsibility studies for the Port of Jakarta. “It is the follow up to our meeting in Rotterdam,” she said, referring to Ahok’s recent official visit to that city.

Tuty said the city preferred cooperating with Rotterdam entities because they were known worldwide for their skills in building and operating ports. She said that in order to speed up the construction process, the city administration needed to make changes in terms of policy and regulation.

Tuty said the city administration would revise Bylaw No. 1/2012 on spatial planning as the shape of the islets would be changed. “The position of the O, P and Q islets were initially parallel. However, they [Dutch consultants] proposed merging the O and P islets, so the shape will be longer toward the north,” she said.

Tuty added that the construction of the islets in the initial position was cheaper, at only Rp 62 trillion. “However, we prefer the second scenario as we need a deep sea port,” she said.

According to the Bappeda head, the current depth of the port was only 8 meters while the new design would be 16 m.

Tuty said the city administration would also revise the Open Green Space (RTH) quota on each island , which previously was 30 percent, to only 5 percent.

“It [30 percent RTH] is not economically viable,” she said, adding that since the islets would be dedicated for ports, they did not need significant green spaces.

The reclamation project in Jakarta Bay has been condemned by experts and activists. They say it will affect the environment and endanger the livelihood of 16,000 fishermen who depend on the sea off Jakarta’s coast.

The city administration has issued two construction permits for the islets and will soon issue permits for the others.

Article: thejakartapost.com
Picture: beritajakarta.com