The Jakarta - Surabaya fast train project has officially begun after Indonesian government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed the 'Summary Record on the Java North Line Upgrading Project' on Tuesday (09/24) - Photo: Privacy

JAKARTA (TheInsiderStories) – The Jakarta – Surabaya semi-fast train project has officially begun after Indonesian government and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed the ‘Summary Record on the Java North Line Upgrading Project’ today (09/24). The signing an agreement marks the initial stages of preparation for this project.

According to the minister of transportation Budi Karya Sumadi, the initial investment value of the project is estimating around Rp90 Trillion (US$6.38 billion). The semi-fast train project will build in the existing railway across the Java Island.

By choosing the existing route, he adds, the ministry can complete 500 to 800 level crossings and eliminating the traffic jams at the railroad crossings. The distance of Jakarta to Surabaya more than 700 kilometer and with the new train the trip could reduce from 10 – 12 hours to around 5 – 6 hours.

Director at the ministry, Danto Restyawan added, that this agreement included formulations related to several technical matters, such as the width of the track, the type of construction, the signaling system, the speed design and the type of rolling stock, the stages of construction, the empowerment of the national railroad industry or local content, as well as project financing schemes through the Government Cooperation with Business Entities.

After the document has been signed, he explained, the next step is conducting the preparatory survey. This phase is carried out by the JICA team which is scheduled to be completed in October 2020.

Jakarta – Surabaya semi-fast train is one of the National Strategic Projects regulated in Presidential Regulation Number 3 of 2016. The government estimates the construction of the project will ground by the middle of next year and operating at the end of 2022.

Railtrack construction, he continued, would involve two phases whereby the first phase will build a new rail track from Jakarta to Semarang while the second phase will upgrade the existing rail track from Semarang to Surabaya.

For Indonesia, JICA has prepared $881.15 million in financing for the country’ infrastructure projects, said JICA Indonesia Office Chief Representative Shinichi Yamanaka month ago. Indonesia’s first-ever MRT is one of those undertakings.

The lender will give further funding for phase two MRT development. The phase two of the project is estimated to value Rp22.5 trillion. Indonesian vice president Jusuf Kalla has stated that the MRT will be extended to 200 kilometers in the next 10 years.

Besides, JICA will also give partial financing for the Rp43.2 trillion Patimban Port in Subang district, West Java. The soon-to-be one of Indonesia’ most sophisticated port is going to have 7.5 million teus capacity of containers and 600,000 Completely Built-Up (CBU) vehicles.

Other than that, Jakarta wastewater treatment system and Central Sulawesi reconstruction after the deadly earthquake are also allocated in the funding. JICA also involves the National Development Planning ministry’ plan on developing five provinces for the United Nation’ program of Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) pilot areas.

Indonesia government and JICA will start the program this month and for the next 1.5 year. The project aims to strengthen the SGDs framework implementation. Indonesia may need JICA’ support in determining domestic indicators, formulating an action plan to reach the indicator, also creating monitoring and evaluating systems.

US$1=Rp14,100

by Linda Silaen, Email: linda.silaen@theinsiderstories.com