A model of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed train. (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Wika to Commit Rp 1.2t to Slow-Moving Jakarta-Bandung Bullet Train Project

BY :THRESA SANDRA DESFIKA

MAY 30, 2017

Jakarta. State construction company Wijaya Karya will provide Rp 1.2 trillion — around $90 million — in fresh capital next month for Kereta Express Indonesia China — the developer of the Jakarta-Bandung bullet train project — to help finance the railway track construction.

Wika is part of local consortium Pilar Sinergi BUMN Indonesia, which also includes state railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia, state plantation firm Perkebunan Nusantara VII and state-controlled toll road operator Jasa Marga.

Wika President Director Bintang Perbowo said next month's capital injection is just the first part of Wika's commitment to provide a total of Rp 4 trillion for the project.

"The money will be deposited in three or four stages. We give Rp 1.2 trillion this year and around the same amount next year," Bintang said in Jakarta on Monday (29/05).

The other members of the consortium will also pay their share of capital next month.

Pilar Sinergi will bear around a quarter of the $6 billion railway project. China Development Bank has signed a $4.5 billion loan deal to finance the remaining cost.

Still, KCIC will not see even a dime from the loan until it clears some paperwork on the project, Bintang said.

"This is just like taking a home loan. You need to submit tax identification number and other administrative requirements," Bintang said, dismissing concerns that the loan might have been delayed by more severe problems.

Difficulties in clearing land for the railway's 142-kilometer track have delayed the project by more than a year now, enraging President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo who has put the project at the forefront of his infrastructure initiative.

Hanggoro Budi Wiryawan, the president director of KCIC, said on Monday that only 53 percent of land for the Jakarta-Bandung fast train project has been acquired. Preparation for laying down the track in the cleared off area has already begun.

Bintang said Wika is now waiting for customs clearance for heavy machinery brought from China to start the track construction. Finance Ministry Sri Mulyani Indrawati will need to give her approval to forego import duty on the machinery, since the equipment will be returned to China after it has been used, he added.

The Chinese heavy machinery will be needed to start construction on a tunnel and a 5-kilometer track running through state plantation Walini in West Java, which will be done while waiting to clear off land for the other sections of the track, Bintang said.

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