Singapore, Indonesia in discussions on port in Central Java

Finance Minister Lawrence Wong spoke of the port proposal during his visit to Kendal Industrial Park on May 19, 2022. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

KENDAL (CENTRAL JAVA) - A 2,700ha industrial park in Central Java that is a joint venture between Singapore and Indonesia is on course for expansion, with plans to build an international container port in the pipeline.

Singapore's Finance Minister Lawrence Wong spoke of the proposal during his visit to Kendal Industrial Park on Thursday (May 19), as part of his four-day working trip to Indonesia.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Kendal Regent Dico Ganinduto, Mr Wong said feasibility studies on potential sites for a port had been done by companies in Singapore and Indonesia, and a proposal has been made to the central government in Jakarta.

"We hope that a decision can be made before too long on the location of the port, and Singapore certainly looks forward to doing our part in supporting such an important project, because it will be beneficial for Kendal Industrial Park, but also for Kendal and Central Java in general," he said.

The minister noted that with the growth of manufacturing activities in the province, companies would want to increase exports not only within Indonesia, but also to other countries.

"And logistics and transportation costs are a factor in driving competitiveness. So we do see the need for a port," he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Dico said the development of the port has been marked as a strategic national project, and discussions are under way in Jakarta to decide which company will be appointed as a local partner to Singapore to develop the port. "Hopefully, we will see a decision made soon," he said.

Park director Didik Purbadi told The Straits Times that the proposed port is expected to be completed by 2024. It will be able to handle 400,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers initially, and this would "gradually rise to 1.5 million TEUs as demand grows".

When completed, it will be the second international-standard port in Central Java, raising the profile of the province as a major industrial hub in the country.

"Major industrial regions like Jakarta, East Java have several sea ports, while Central Java has only one, that is, Port of Tanjung Emas in Semarang, about one hour from Kendal Industrial Park," he said.

"The new port will make us more competitive as the key to success is bringing production centre and distribution channels closer," added Mr Didik.

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.