Jakarta. In recent years, Indonesia has been prioritizing infrastructure development to improve connectivity, speed up economic growth and increase the country’s competitiveness in the region.
When President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office in 2014, he promised to accelerate the development of infrastructure. Infrastructure spending is visibly increasing under his administration.
According to the World Bank, Indonesia will need to invest around $500 billion over the next five years to fill the investment gap in infrastructure.
According to the government’s master plan, between 2015 and 2019, Indonesia should have 15 new airports, 24 new seaports, 2,650 kilometers of new roads, 1,000 kilometers of new toll roads, 3,258 kilometers of new railway lines and 60 new ferry ports.
The plan is expected to roll out about Rp 5,519 trillion ($414 billion) worth of investment, with some of the financing coming from the private sector.
According to Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) deputy chairman Azhar Lubis, “investors will look at the ongoing trend, not when it [the infrastructure projects] are going to be completed. If we are consistent with what we are doing, they will have confidence [to invest in Indonesia].”
In 2016, the president issued a regulation that prioritizes some of the projects deemed strategic, speeds up the process of licensing and simplifies the procurement of land, goods and services. For example, it stipulates that paperwork, like permit renewals, should not interfere with construction works.
In the past three years, the government has completed 20 of its strategic projects. The remaining 245 are worth Rp 4,200 trillion.
Among the most spectacular infrastructure projects are the following.
Trans-Papua Toll Road
The 4,325-kilometer road is divided into 11 sections stretching from Papua to West Papua, connecting Sorong to Merauke.
The Rp 18.54 trillion project is already 90 percent complete and will be opened by the end of the year.
Light Rail Transit Jakarta-Bogor-Depok-Bekasi
The LRT Jabodebek system replaces Jakarta’s troubled monorail project that was initiated in the early 2000s. The light rail system connecting Jakarta with its satellite cities is expected to be operational by next year.
The project’s Rp 11.9 trillion worth first phase will connect Cibubur in East Jakarta with Bekasi in West Java. So far the system is 17 percent complete. According to the government’s target, it should be ready for the 2018 Asian Games, hosted by Jakarta and Palembang, South Sumatra, in August.
Mass Rapid Transit System
As of September, the MRT project launched in October 2013 was more than 80 percent complete and will be operational by 2019, transporting up to 212,000 commuters daily.
The first phase of the MRT will connect 13 stations on 15.7 kilometers from Lebak Bulus in South Jakarta to the Hotel Indonesia traffic circle. The second phase will connect eight stations over 8.1 kilometers between Hotel Indonesia and Kampung Bandan in North Jakarta.
Trans-Sumatra Toll Road
The Trans-Sumatra Toll Road, connecting all provinces on the island, is divided into four sections between Lampung and Aceh.
The Rp 150-trillion project is 30 percent (675 kilometers) complete and should be ready in 2019.
Trans-Java Toll Road
The 640-kilometer toll road from Merak Port in the island’s western province of Banten to Banyuwangi in East Java, is estimated to cost around Rp 44 trillion.
The project’s Merak-East Brebes section is already open, while the rest will be fully operational in 2019.
Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway
The $5.5 billion project will connect Jakarta to Bandung in West Java with stops at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport, Karawang, Tegalluar and Walini. It is scheduled for completion in 2020.
The 142.3-kilometer railway track is developed by Indonesian-Chinese consortium Kereta Cepat Indonesia China. Its ground-breaking ceremony was held in January 2016. The project’s current land procurement progress is estimated at nearly 55 percent.
Kuala Tanjung Port
The Kuala Tanjung Port construction in Batubara district, North Sumatera, started in January 2015. The port will be able to accommodate 60 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) per year, more than Jakarta’s Tanjung Priok Port.
The integrated port is constructed and developed by state-owned port operator Pelindo I, the Netherlands-based Port of Rotterdam and Dubai-based port operator DP World. It is estimated to cost Rp 34 trillion.
The multipurpose terminal in the Malacca Strait will be constructed in four phases, with the first one expected to start by the end of the year.
Kalibaru Port is an extension of the country’s busiest and overloaded Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta. When ready, it will greatly improve the region’s logistics chain.
Kalibaru Port is constructed in three phases, the first of which started last year. It is expected to be fully operational by 2023 and increase North Jakarta’s current 5 million TEU annual capacity to 18 million TEU.