Widodo opens ex­pan­sion to Jakarta’s Priok port

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SUNBIZ -

JAKARTA: In­done­sian Pres­i­dent Joko Widodo in­au­gu­rated an ex­pan­sion of the coun­try’s main sea­port in Jakarta yes­ter­day, a fa­cil­ity up­grade that will cut the time con­tainer ships must spend wait­ing to load or un­load.

“We can­not de­lay the de­vel­op­ment of mod­ern ports any longer.

This sup­ports trade flows and in­vest­ment in this coun­try,” Widodo said at the open­ing of New Priok Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal (NPCT) 1 in Kal­ibaru, the first of five phases of an ex­pan­sion of Priok Port that are to be com­pleted in 2019.

Tan­jung Priok Port in North Jakarta, which han­dles the bulk of in­ter­na­tional ship­ments into South­east Asia’s big­gest econ­omy, has been plagued with bot­tle­necks and long han­dling times due to years of un­der in­vest­ment.

Widodo has taken a spe­cial in­ter­est in re­duc­ing port dwell times, part of his gov­ern­ment’s broad ef­forts to im­prove the na­tion’s in­fra­struc­ture to drive eco­nomic growth. Dwell time at Priok is now be­tween 3.2 and 3.7 days, down from up to a week in 2014, Widodo said, adding that he wants the wait to be re­duced to less than three days.

“The ex­pan­sion of Tan­jung Priok may en­cour­age ship­ping lines to launch more di­rect ship calls to Jakarta, but I do not see it as a ma­jor threat to Sin­ga­pore’s tran­ship­ment sta­tus,” said Jonathan Beard, head of trans­porta­tion and lo­gis­tics in Asia for de­sign and con­sul­tancy firm Ar­cadis.

The new ter­mi­nal adds 1.5 mil­lion twenty-foot equiv­a­lent units (TEU) to Priok’s ex­ist­ing seven mil­lion TEU an­nual ca­pac­ity, said Elvyn Masassya, CEO of Pe­labuhan In­done­sia (Pelindo) II, In­done­sia’s state-owned port com­pany that op­er­ates NPCT 1.

With eight cranes that can move 30 con­tain­ers per hour and berths that can dock ships with a draft of as much as 16 me­tres, the new ter­mi­nal will al­low Priok to ac­com­mo­date ves­sels car­ry­ing 10,000 TEUs from Europe and East Asia for the first time, Masassya said. – Reuters

A tug boat is seen near a con­tainer port in Tan­jung Priok, North Jakarta, In­done­sia, yes­ter­day.

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