The controversial Batang power plant in Central Java is expected to be completed in 2020 now all land acquisition disputes have been resolved. This USD $4.2 billion power plant experienced a long delay as about a dozen of local farmers were reluctant to sell their land to the developers of the project. In February 2016 Indonesia's Supreme Court ruled in favor of the project developers. Indonesian President Joko Widodo is a supporter of this project.
The support of Widodo implies that he prefers to look at the wider economic and social benefits of the project, namely enlarging the country's infrastructure and energy capacity, over the preference of a limited number of local residents who try to maintain their ancestral land. This is a bit similar to the "Suharto-approach" although the government now has to rely on the courts (rather than the army) to expel landowners (and therefore it takes much more time). Widodo's support for the project has led to some concerns about human rights (abuses) in Indonesia.
The 2 GW coal-fired Batang power plant will be connected to the Java-Bali power grid and state utility firm Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) will purchase electricity generated by the power plant under a 25-year power purchase agreement. After this period, ownership will be transferred to PLN (under the so-called "build, operate, own and transfer" scheme).
Ayu Widianingrum, spokeswoman for Bhimasena Power Indonesia (BPI), said the Batang power plant will become the largest plant in Southeast Asia and is to use the latest environment-friendly technologies.
Bhimasena Power Indonesia constructs the plant and afterwards will also operate the plant. BPI is a joint venture (JV) created by Indonesian coal miner Adaro Energy and Japan’s Itochu Corporation and Electric Power Development Co. Ltd. (J-Power). The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) agreed to a USD $3.4 billion loan for the construction of the Batang power plant.
Light Rail Transit (LRT) in Jakarta
Meanwhile, in March 2018 the first passengers are expected to take the light rail transit (LRT) system that connects Cibubur to Cawang in East Jakarta. According to Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi, the technical progress of this 14.5-kilometers LRT project is now completed for 12 percent and therefore it should be able to open in early 2018 (before the 2018 Asian Games). He added that it uses precast technology that is also used in China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.
The LRT system aims to enhance connectivity, particularly between Jakarta and the satellite cities such as Bogor, Depok, and Bekasi. The Jakarta LRT, which is Indonesia's first LRT system, is one of the many infrastructure projects in Indonesia that was delayed for many years. However, after the central government and local Jakarta administration set aside their differences about the route, rail model and other issues, they finally gave the green light for the start of the project in mid-2016. This project consists of one LRT track within Jakarta and one outside Jakarta that connects the satellite cities (Bogor, Depok, Tangerang and Bekasi) around Jakarta.
Operations of Airport Transferred
The Indonesian Transportation Ministry also announced that it plans to transfer operations of two airports - Radin Inten II in Lampung (Sumatra), Sentani Airport in Jayapura (Papua), or Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo (East Nusa Tenggara) - to state-owned operators Angkasa Pura I and Angkasa Pura II in a bid to allow more commercial management of domestic airports.
In the future, more operations of airports will be transferred to state-owned airport operators (from the Transportation Ministry's technical operative unit), a process that will be conducted in stages. This will enhance flexibility in terms of pursuing commercial expansion of the airports as the Transportation Ministry is limited to funding from the state budget.
The Indonesian government opened airport management to foreign investors. Foreigners can now own up to 67 percent of local airport operators (but not the airport itself). A local company will need to take up the remaining 33 percent by teaming up with the foreign investor.
Toll Road Development in Indonesia
The Indonesian government also plans to open the toll road connecting Jakarta to Semarang (Central Java) before mid-2017 in order to provide an alternative for motorists and limit severe traffic congestion during the Idul Fitri exodus in June.
At least three toll road sections - Pejagan-Pemalang, Pemalang-Batang and Batang-Semarang - should be ready by June 2017. This would cover a total of 171.5 kilometers and is estimated to cost IDR 23.1 trillion (approx. USD $1.7 billion).
The Indonesian government seeks to build 395 kilometers of new toll roads in 2017, bringing the total distance of the nation's toll road network to 567.9 kilometer. The government wants to expand the network further to 1,182.7 kilometers in 2018 and 1,851.4 kilometers in 2019.