Dutch and Chinese operators to help expand Kuala Tanjung port

THE JAKARTA POST : State-owned port operator PT Pelabuhan Indonesia I (Pelindo I) will team up with two major world port operators from China and Europe to accelerate the development of Kuala Tanjung Port in Batubara regency, North Sumatra.

Pelindo I general director Dian Rachmawan signed a head of agreement (HoA) on the partnership in the development of Kuala Tanjung Port alongside representatives from the Port of Rotterdam Authority in the Netherlands and the Zhejiang Provincial Seaport Investment & Operation Group Co, Ltd. in China on Nov. 14.

Dian said he expected the partnership could soon transform Kuala Tanjung into a world-class maritime hub featuring peerless integration with nearby industrial parks, thereby strengthening its position in the Malacca Strait.

“This cooperation is one of the steps we are taking to improve Kuala Tanjung’s ability to compete with other major ports along the Malacca Strait,” Dian said on Tuesday.

He said the two international port operators were selected for the partnership due to their renowned expertise in port development. Port of Rotterdam Authority is the largest port in Europe with experience in large-scale port development and management, while Zhejiang Provincial Support Investment & Operation Group is a Chinese state-owned firm known for its experience in cargo handling.

The signed agreement addressed the further development of Kuala Tanjung Multipurpose Terminal, which allows direct shipment to and from Ningbo, China, through Zheijang Provincial Seaport’s network. The agreement also required each party to hold a joint workshop to draft a business plan and commercial terms that include the development of Kuala Tanjung Multipurpose Terminal as part of the project.

With the expansion, the Kuala Tanjung Port will become the largest port in Sumatra and the second largest in Indonesia, behind the country's main shipping gateway, Tanjung Priok Port in North Jakarta.

The first phase of development – the construction of Kuala Tanjung Multipurpose Terminal – was completed in 2018. Now, the Kuala Tanjung port has been classified as a deep seaport that can accommodate mother vessels. The ability to accommodate a mother vessel is considered vital as the port is situated in the Malacca Strait, one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world.

The second phase is the development of a 3,400-hectare industrial estate. The third and fourth phases will see the construction of a hub port and further urban development.

Transportation Ministry sea transportation director general Agus H Purnomo responded positively to the cooperation. He said he was optimistic it would help increase the volume of cargo shipped to Kuala Tanjung Multipurpose Terminal and accelerate the development of Kuala Tanjung Industrial Park.

“The Transportation Ministry fully supports the partnership. It kick-starts the development of Kuala Tanjung Port which has been a priority in North Sumatra,” Agus said, adding that he expected the port development to improve the country’s global competitiveness in logistics. (rfa)

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