The government will open an international competitive bidding (ICB) to determine the contractor for the Patimban International Port project in Subang, West Java. The bidding is open to foreign investors as the Rp43-trillion project is partly funded by loose credit.
“The contractor doesn’t have to be a company that comes from the lending countries,” Transportation Ministry’s director general for sea transportation Tonny Boediono said on Monday, January 23.
According to Tonny, the government will open the bid once Japan and Indonesia signed a loan agreement, which is expected to happen in June or July this year.
As the port operator, the government will appoint PT Pelindo II (Persero) through a presidential regulation. Pelindo II will establish partnership with local and Japanese companies determined by a beauty contest.
Hiromichi Muraoka, a senior representative of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for Indonesia, said he has no information about which Japanese companies that are interested to work with Pelindo II as Patimban’s operator.
According to Mr. Muraoka, a Japanese firm needs to know the details of the loan agreement. “If perhaps many of our companies are showing interest, they still don’t know the concession requirement,” he said.
Sometime ago, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Panjaitan said Mitsubishi is interested in becoming Patimban’s operator. Information gathered by Tempo indicates that Mitsubishi will enter Patimban through a subsidiary, Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK Line).
Mr. Muraoka said Japan is waiting for Patimban project’s environmental license and an official loan request from the Indonesian government. “Before that happens, we cannot conclude the loan agreement,” he said.
Japan takes high regard for environmental issues, and the license is of high concern in the Patimban project. Previously, Japanese investors had to cancel their plan to fund the Cimalaya Port project in Karawang following a protest by Pertamina, who said the project’s existence will threaten the Offshore North West Java block’s gas pipes.