by Bambang Purwanto
JAKARTA, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia was expected to have the biggest port in the country located in Patimban village in West Java province's district of Subang, besides the existing Tanjung Priok port in the capital Jakarta.
The Patimban seaport, which was built mainly for Indonesia's automotive exports, was developed in three phases with total investment value of about 50 trillion rupiahs (3.4 billion U.S. dollars). In the first phase, it would spend 20 trillion rupiahs (1.3 billion U.S. dollars).
The total area of the Patimban port reaches 654 hectares, and 300 hectares of which would be earmarked for containers and vehicle terminals.
In the first phase, the capacity of handling 7 million TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) every year at the Patimban port would be developed and it would be extended to 14 million TEUs, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said last month.
The Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta cannot accommodate movements of cargos from West Java's industrial estates in the districts of Bekasi, Karawang and Subang, Sumadi said, hoping that the construction of the Patimban port would be finished in November 2020.
There will be a collaboration between the Tanjung Priok port and the Patimban port, the minister said in Jakarta recently after a limited cabinet meeting discussing acceleration of the Patimban port development.
Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the opening of the Patimban port would be conducted in the fourth quarter of 2020 so the port operator should be decided as soon as possible.
He said that as of the second week of September, the construction of docks and reclamation have been finished by 81.98 percent, breakwater and seawall by 55.62 percent, access bridge by 11.95 percent and access road by 98.27 percent.
Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimuljono said an 8.2-km access road would be ready to serve transports of logistics in northern Java to the Patimban port by the end of October 2020.
At a recent cabinet meeting at Bogor Palace in West Java, Indonesian President Joko Widodo expressed hope that when the Patimban port is established, there would be a triangle economic hub linking the Patimban port, Kertajati airport in West Java province's district of Majalengka, and the province's industrial estates in Bekasi and Purwakarta.
"We want to accelerate the development of the Patimban port and we hope it would play a strategic role in the economic and trade growth in West Java. It is developed complementary to the Tanjung Priok port, but not competitor to each other," the president said.
"In the future, the ports would speed up the growth of regional economic centers, promote efficiency in logistics services and make export products especially in the automotive sector more competitive," Widodo said.
He said the northern part of Java which has been connected by toll roads should become an economic super corridor which should be supported by the development of major ports.
"The Patimban port would play an important and strategic role in the economic and trade growth in West Java," the president said, adding that the port would be key to connecting industrial estates, tourist destinations and agricultural areas.
West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said the Patimban port would be a gate to a new metropolitan area which was expected to attract more investors to develop its surrounding areas including Bogor, Depok and Bekasi as well as Bandung, Cirebon, Subang and Majalengka.
According to him, 5 million jobs would be created within 15 years with an additional 2-4 percent of economic growth in West Java.
Meanwhile, business players in Jakarta's eastern corridor had high expectations that the Patimban port could be an alternative to the Tanjung Priok port which has been overcrowded.
Executive Director of the Indonesia Property Watch Ali Tranghanda predicted the port would be a boon to local property with an increase in prices of land in areas around the toll roads.
Tranghanda forecast that within three months since the port's operation, the economy around the areas would grow with cargo traffics.
The development of the Patimban port including the construction of supporting projects would positively impact Jakarta, he was quoted by Antara news agency as saying.
Tranghanda said the port was expected to stimulate the economy which has been pummeled by the COVID-19 pandemic. Enditem