Samarinda, East Kalimantan. Plans to build a nearly 100-kilometer-long toll road linking Samarinda to Balikpapan in East Kalimantan are awaiting approval from Investment Coordinating Board, a local government official said.
Samsung Indonesia, the local unit of South Korea’s Samsung, plans to build the 99.02-kilometer road at an estimated cost of Rp 6.2 trillion ($652 million).
Fuad Assadin, an official from the East Kalimantan administration, said on Monday that Samsung and the province were still waiting to sign a letter of intent before starting the project.
East Kalimantan Governor Awang Faroek Ishak said the South Korean company would receive the full support of his administration, including the clearing of any unnecessary red tape.
Awang said the local government would provide Rp 2 trillion for the construction of the toll road, with the remaining costs to be paid by Samsung. The toll road will be one of the first major infrastructure projects in the resource-rich province.
East Kalimantan is one of four big provinces in Kalimantan. The region is rich in natural resources, including timber, coal, oil and gas, and is home to major resource companies such as Adaro Energy, Indonesia’s second-largest coal producer, and Bumi Resources, the country’s largest coal miner.
The central government in Jakarta has promised a major infrastructure push in the coming years as it looks to create jobs, fight poverty and lure investors, who have long complained about the country’s creaking infrastructure. It plans to build toll roads, seaports and airports, among its big projects.
“This Korean company is waiting for approval and once they get that, they will be ready to start the construction of the toll road,” Awang said.
Samarinda is the capital of East Kalimantan and Balikpapan is a port city on the east coast of the province.