Jakarta. Kereta Api Indonesia China, or KCIC, a consortium of Indonesian and Chinese state-owned companies, said it will begin construction on the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway line next month, half a year after it secured a concession for the project from the government.
In the last six months, the consortium has been hiring workers, acquiring land for the project, obtaining the right licenses for the work and looking for extra financing — which has prevented the company from doing actual construction work, KCIC director Dwi Windarto said.
"We can see some progress on the construction now, such as fencing along the new railway tracks. We will start the big jobs in October or November," Windarto said on Thursday (07/10).
The $5.1 billion project has been marred with delays since its inception. It took three months for the Transportation Ministry to clear all permits and concessions for the KCIC, despite President Joko Widodo's blessing for the project. The president had even attended its groundbreaking ceremony in January.
The track for the high-speed train line will stretch for 142.3 kilometers from Halim in East Jakarta to Tegalluar in Bandung, West Java. The train will cut travel time from Jakarta to Bandung from three hours to two.
Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said the ministry has issued all permissions to the consortium so they can start work immediately on the railway line.
"Everything now depends on the coordination between the investors and the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises," Budi said.
The consortium will bear 25 percent of the project's cost and the remainder will be financed by a loan from China Development Bank.
The KCIC consortium comprised four Indonesian state-owned companies — construction firm Wijaya Karya, toll operator Jasa Marga, railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia and plantation firm Perkebunan Nusantara VIII — and a group of Chinese state-owned enterprises.