In its bid to enhance connectivity across the Indonesian archipelago, the government of Indonesia is eager to boost toll road development. Enhanced connectivity is key to curtail the nation's high logistics costs hence improving the competitiveness of domestic businesses while also making the investment climate more attractive. Besides business interests, enhanced infrastructure development is also important from a social point of view (for example, people's access to healthcare is improved). In this column we take a look at the developments of the Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road on the island of Kalimantan.
11 October 2019 (closed)
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Today's Headlines Batang Power Plant
As the coal mining industry will not rebound anytime soon, Adaro Energy, the second-largest producer of thermal coal in Indonesia, has to find another strategy to make a profitable business. Income coal sales has weakened but the company's mining services and logistics segments have been growing. Meanwhile, the company has been expanding to the downstream power generation industry. Not coal, but power generation may be the center of a new super-cycle in Indonesia as the government aims to see the construction of 35,000 megawatts (MW) of power plants in the next five years.
Land acquisition remains a major obstacle to infrastructure development in Indonesia. Full-scale construction of the USD $4 billion Batang plant, a 2 GW coal-fired power plant in Central Java, is waiting for the final ruling of Indonesia's Supreme Court near the year-end. This court case is an important one as it will be the first court case to test Indonesia's Law No.2/2012 on Land Procurement for Development in the Public Interest (known as the 'Land Acquisition Act'). The Batang plant is a public-private partnership (PPP) project.
Indonesia’s reference thermal coal price hit another all-time low. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources set the September coal price (in Indonesian: Harga Batubara Acuan, or HBA) at USD $58.21 per metric ton (FOB), down 1.6 percent from the August reference rate, and the fifth consecutive month of decline. Indonesia is the world’s largest thermal coal exporter.
Latest Columns Batang Power Plant
The recently rallying coal price is a major boost for leading Indonesian coal miner Adaro Energy. Mirae Asset Sekuritas noted in a new report that Adaro Energy is in a great position to book higher corporate earnings in the years ahead because the miner's structure (and subsidiaries) are highly integrated and therefore it can more-or-less control the costs and risks in each business stage.
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.
Last week it was announced that the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) agreed to a USD $3.4 billion loan for the construction of the controversial Batang power plant in Central Java. This power plant project is controversial as it met fierce resistance from the local community (triggering concerns about human rights violations related to the land acquisition process) as well as criticism from environmental groups, saying this power plant - set to become Indonesia's largest coal-fired power plant - runs counter to Indonesia's earlier commitment to reduce carbon emissions.
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