Trans-Sumatra turnpike project set to start

Palembang — The Trans-Sumatra toll road project, stretching from Aceh to Lampung, will commence with the construction of a 22-kilometer stretch from Palembang to Indralaya in South Sumatra in March of next year.

“The project is currently in the process of land acquisition, which we have handed over to the provincial administration,” said Hutama Karya managing director Tri Widjajanto in Palembang on Friday after meeting with South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin. State-run construction firm Hutama Karya has been appointed by the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry to build the 2,000-kilometer Trans-Sumatra toll road.

Alex said he had formed a team to acquire a swath of land measuring 60 meters wide along the Palembang-Indralaya route.

“We expect the land acquisition process to be complete by March next year,” said Alex. He, however, did not mention the total amount land to be acquired because of an ongoing field survey.

Tri also did not elaborate on the value of the project because it was still being calculated. Hutama Karya will work together with state plantation firm PT Perkebunan Nusantara, which according to him, had an interest in the toll road, chiefly to distribute its agricultural commodities. Hutama Karya expects to obtain state capital participation (PMN).

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said the Trans-Sumatra toll road project would seek funds from various financial sources.

“We leave the issue on the amount of funds to Hutama Karya, while we can seek the sources of funds,” said Dahlan, after performing Friday prayers at Masjid Agung grand mosque in Palembang.

The Trans-Sumatra toll road project, according to Tri, is financially unfeasible but it can boost economic growth in Sumatra. The Palembang-Indralaya toll road is projected to be completed in 18 months.

After South Sumatra, toll roads will also be built in West Sumatra, Riau and North Sumatra. The Trans-Sumatra toll road is planned to connect to the Sunda Strait Bridge, slated to be built in the near future. “The Trans-Sumatra toll road is part of the Asian Highway Network,” said Tri.

The Tran-Sumatra toll road and Sunda Strait Bridge projects are aimed at supporting the Masterplan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development (MP3EI), announced by the government in 2011.

MP3EI calls for infrastructure development to improve connectivity throughout the archipelago. Development is slated to take place along six economic corridors throughout the nation, namely Sumatra, Kalimantan, Java, Sulawesi, Bali and Nusa Tenggara and Papua-Maluku.[]

The Jakarta Post

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