South Korean firm eyes Sunda Strait bridge project
The Jakarta Post, Jakarta - 11/04/2011
South Korean construction firm GS Engineering and Construction Corporation has affirmed its interest in participating in the construction of the US$17.5 billion Sunda Strait bridge.
GS CEO Woo Sang Ryong expressed interest in taking part in the bridge project during a meeting with Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto in Jakarta on Friday.
“The construction of the Sunda Strait bridge is expected to require a huge amount of funds. Therefore, I’m sure that any firm working on this project will need to cooperate with other investors,” Djoko said Friday, as quoted by the ministry’s website.
Djoko added, however, that the Korean firm, a subsidiary of Korea’s seventh-largest business group, would also be required to cooperate with local companies for the project, as stipulated by government regulation.
“Foreign investors and builders who want to take part in public works infrastructure projects should cooperate with local firms,” he said.
The 31-kilometer Sunda Strait bridge, which would connect Java and Sumatra, is expected to resolve traffic gridlock around Merak port in Banten caused by vehicles, especially trucks, queuing to cross from Java to Sumatra. The bridge, which would be the longest inter-island bridge in Indonesia, is also expected to boost economic activities in many parts of Sumatra.
Once operational in 2025, the bridge will stretch from Anyer in Banten to Bakauheni in Lampung and will also pass over the Sanghiyang, Prajurit and the Ular islands in the Sunda Strait.
Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said last month that the government would issue a presidential regulation in April to accelerate construction of the bridge, which is set to commence in 2014.
Djoko said that in addition to the bridge, the Korean firm could also invest in other infrastructure projects in Indonesia, such as the development of a clean water utility and toll roads.
According to Djoko, the government plans to develop clean water facilities because currently it could only provide half of the amount of clean water required for safe consumption. The ministry would be open to any foreign investment, he added.