Indonesia outlines its infrastructure ambition10 Apr 2013
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
With the opening of the world's biggest construction machinery trade fair just days away, TunnelTalk reporter Peter Kenyon takes a closer look at the bauma Partner Country for 2013: Indonesia. With a population of some 234 million, Indonesia is the largest country of south east Asia and the fourth most populous country of the world. Addressing the complex needs for effective public infrastructure is afforded top economic and political priority.
Its landmass is scattered across more than 5,000 inhabited but relatively disconnected islands, frequent flooding is estimated to cost its capital Jakarta alone US$1 billion a year, and the country's diverse geography and mountain barriers form serious barriers to implementation of integrated transportation planning policy for Indonesia.
Jakarta is crippled by regular flooding
World's biggest city without a metro
But while the regional neighbours of Indonesia - India, China, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore - advance apace with underground urban metro schemes, subsea bay crossings, high speed rail programs, underground power infrastructure and tunnel-based flood control measures, Indonesia is yet to develop an effective underground urban infrastructure.
In spite of having 12 cities with populations of greater than 1.25 million, Indonesia does not have a single underground metro system. While neighbouring Bangkok, with a population of 7.1 million, builds extensions to its existing 21km metro system, the 26 million inhabitants of the Indonesian capital city Jakarta, struggle on heavily congested roads, a stuttering at-grade rail network, and suffer a regular cycle of seasonal flooding. It is by far the largest city in the world without a metro and yet with vast coal and mining reserves Indonesia potentially has the economic resources to fund vital civil tunnelling programmes.
Elsewhere in the region, Saigon in Vietnam, population 7.5 million, is already under way on its own metro system, with further extensions planned.
Award of Phase 1 of Jakarta's first metro is said to be imminent
As visitors prepare to converge on Munich for the bauma trade fair, reports from Indonesia suggest that award is imminent, at last, of four underground and three elevated contracts for Jakarta's and Indonesia's first underground MRT system.
But stop-start plans for this project, like so many others in Indonesia, have dragged along without actually being implemented. The MRT for Jakarta was first mooted in the 1980s, morphed into a monorail project in the 1990s, began construction in the 2000s, and was finally abandoned after support pylons had actually been constructed.
The MRT plan was revived, and five JVs were finally shortlisted last year (2012) for each of the four lots of underground alignment totalling some 6km. But so far no award has been made although funding, largely from Japan, is in place.
It is the same story of delay when it comes to underground infrastructure for flood protection, a top priority issue in a region plagued by seasonal flooding and tsunamis. While Bangkok considers options for an underground storm water protection system of the type that protects cities elsewhere in the region, notably Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia with its dual purpose Storm Management and Road Tunnel (SMART), Jakarta and other Indonesian cities remain unprotected against the elements.
Table 1. Planned metro for Jakarta
North-South Corridor (23.3 km)
East-West Corridor (87km)
Phase 1 Lebak Bulus-Bundaran Hl
Phase 2 Bundaran Hl-Kampung Bandan
In Pre-Feasibility study phase (2024-27 delivery)
Length of track
15.2km (9.2km elevated, 6km underground)
13 (7 elevated, 6 underground)
8 (7 underground, 1 at grade)
Feasibility, technical and geological studies have been completed for a 22km multi-purpose deep tunnel along similar lines to the one in Kuala Lumpur. At 15m below the West Flood Canal project, it is suggested the tunnel would have a road level and a waste water level inside a structure with a diameter of 12m. Above the road, which would be operated on a toll basis, the tunnel would accommodate utility ducts. But the so-called Multi Purpose Deep Tunnel Project is still far from implementation, and only last month Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto said that the project review team must demonstrate the potential economic benefits to the public before progress can be made.
Proposed 22km Multi-Purpose Deep Tunnel for Jakarta
Against this backdrop of mega-project inertia, Indonesia is ramping up efforts to improve its infrastructure in line with its less populous regional neighbours. It wants to turn its plans into reality - and was delighted when in 2012 bauma organisers offered it prestigious Partner Country status for the 2013 event.
The Partner Country concept has been running since 2001, and affords selected countries, chosen on the basis of their development potential, an opportunity to send high-level delegations to directly network and information-share with the thousands of companies that are represented at what is the world's biggest construction event. As part of this year's bauma Forum of events that will be going on in Hall C2 throughout the week, Wednesday 17 April is selected as Indonesia Day (Table 1, below, shows full programme details). India is a former Partner Country, and links forged during that event have helped rapidly accelerate the progress of its underground activity in recent years, especially in the area of urban metro provision.
In preparation for the Munich event that kicks off after this weekend (15 April 2013), Indonesia Minister of Public Works Djokjo Kirmanto spelled out construction opportunities in his country for European companies at the October 2012 meeting of the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE) Economic Forum in Berlin. In order to deliver a so-called Master Plan for Acceleration and Expansion of Economic Development, almost half of the US$400 billion needed to fund the objectives will be directed towards improving infrastructure, he told delegates.
With a GDP of more than US$840 billion in 2011, Indonesia is the biggest economy in south east Asia, with the construction sector contributing more than 10% of this annual figure. Delegates were told that three projects, a seaport, a waste treatment project and a toll road project together worth US$764 million, are ready to offer as PPPs with a further 21 priority mega-projects valued at a further US$33.4 billion ready to be released soon.
At bauma visitors will be able to network with Indonesian government officials and official delegations in the Indonesia Lounge area, where they will be able to explore opportunities in greater detail. On 17 April (2013) a full-day seminar on infrastructure and mining opportunities will be conducted in Hall C2 with several high-ranking German and Indonesian speakers.
Indonesian Minister Kirmanto said: "Indonesia will be demonstrating to an international audience the vast possibilities to invest in the archipelago. As this year's bauma Partner Country I hope Indonesia will be able encourage closer cooperation with the European construction industry. We want to demonstrate Indonesia as an attractive market but also as an attractive place to invest, especially in equipment, manufacturing, engineering and technology."
Table 1. Indonesia Day Forum (April 17, Hall C2)
Indonesia Rising: Next steps for Asia's aspiring powerhouse
Construction industry/market overview Construction sector regulations PPI
Accelerating Infrastructure in Indonesia
Indonesian contractors Partnership possibilities
Infrastructure financing in Indonesia
Financing schemes Case study PPP projects
Questions and answers
Mining investment policies in Indonesia
Investment opportunities in energy and minerals Government regulations Indonesian Development Plan
Investment opportunities in mining services
Mining services in Indonesia Investment opportunities in the mining sector
Doing business in the infrastructure and mining sector
Starting up and establishing partnerships
Doing business in Indonesia
Best practice examples
Questions and answers
Meet and greet at the Indonesia Business Lounge (Entrance East, 1st Floor)
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