JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – State-owned rolling stock manufacturing company PT Industri Kereta Api (INKA) is set to build a new factory in Banyuwangi, East Java to produce high-speed train cars this year.
Current market developments impel the company to strive for high technology, acting chief executive of PT Inka M. Nur Sodiq said on Monday, pointing to government plans to build a ‘medium-speed’ train linking Jakarta and Surabaya.
Sodiq admitted that unless the company has both technology and manufacturing
capabilities it will have no chance, adding, ‘We would not even be invited to the project tender’.
He said INKA has been quite competitive in legacy passenger train construction, with 72 percent produced by Indonesian workers. The Banyuwangi factory will have four times the capacity of the Madiun factory.
“Our target is three complete carriages per day, or twice the current pace of 1.5 units per day on the average in Madiun,” he said, adding that land clearing has been successfully concluded.
Construction will take place in two phases, with the first to cost around Rp600 billion and the second Rp400 billion, for a total of Rp1 trillion. The factory is expected to come on-stream in mid-2019, Sodiq added.
Executive Vice President of INKA Bambang Kushendarto said that with raised specifications, the company relies on foreign experts from Japan and Germany.
INKA has to increase its production capacity to meet growing demand, including
fulfilling orders from overseas markets such as Bangladesh. Demand is also growing in this country, with the light train transit (LRT) project in Palembang and Greater Jakarta and the long distance trains of PT KAI, he said.
INKA has also begun eyeing the African market as part of its business expansion, after successfully marketing its train cars in Southeast Asia and South Asia.
The firm is looking into the possibility of cooperation with Zambia in the procurement of 30 locomotives, worth an estimated US$90 million. The project is structured as a tripartite cooperation between Indonesia, Zambia and Sweden. Under the terms of the work agreement, Sweden has agreed to extend soft loans to Zambia to build infrastructure and facilities, while INKA will act as a rolling stock company.
The cooperation will extend for two years, while it will take four years to complete the infrastructure.
Written by Elisa Valenta, email: firstname.lastname@example.org