Government Ready to Begin Construction of Trans-Sumatra Toll Road

By webadmin on 12:14 pm Jun 08, 2012
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Kunradus Aliandu & Imam Mudzakir

Construction of a Rp 10 trillion ($1.06 billion), 1,000 kilometer-long Trans-Sumatra toll road will begin by the end of the year, West Sumatra Governor Irwan Prayitno said on Thursday.

“The project is ready to start its first phase from the Padang bypass road to Padang Pariaman,” Irwan said.

Speaking at a seminar on national investment in Padang, Irwan said that project will break ground shortly and is expected to be completed by 2015. The toll road is expected to open up access to Sumatra, driving local development along the new road, Irwan said.

“We have already approached the Regional Development Bank
so that they can provide Rp 100 billion in funds for the purchase of land for the development of several
industrial centers,” Irwan said.

State-owned toll operator Jasa Marga has begun talks with several provinces in Sumatra, president director Adityawarman said. But no decisions have been made on which segments of the two-lane toll road will be built or when the construction will be complete.

“We
are deploying a team to conduct a comprehensive study on the
projects to be built. The results of the study will also become an initial proposal to the government,” Adityawarman said.

Routes are still being studied, but will likely include a 27 kilometer Padang to Sicincin segment, a 25 kilometer Medan to Kuala Namu segment and a 35 kilometer Kuala Namu to Tebing Tinggi segment, Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto
said

It is still unknown who will construct the Trans-Sumatra toll road. The highway will cost an estimated Rp 50 billion-per-kilometer to build, Djoko said.

Local governments will likely be responsible for purchasing the land
needed to construct the toll road, Djoko said. Jasa Marga and the central government should be responsible for the road’s construction.

But Ahmad Ghani Ghazali, of the Public Works Ministry’s toll road regulators, said that local governments and state-owned companies should build the toll road, explaining that the project was unlikely to attract the attention of private investors.

“While it is true that there are investors who have
expressed interest, it does not necessarily mean that they will take
the project when the real costs are revealed,” Ghani said.

The project’s financial feasibility — a metric that weighs costs and profits — is too low, at 10 percent instead of the 17 percent needed to attract private investors, Ghani said.

The Public Works Ministry is pushing for the construction of a 2,700 kilometer Trans-Sumatra highway from Banda Aceh in the north to Bandar Lampung in the south. That highway would likely cost Rp 99.88 trillion to build.

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