Local precast and prestressed concrete producers are joining hands to help the government speed up construction work in preparation for the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) in 2015.
Indonesia has many infrastructure projects ongoing, but most of them take a long time to finish due to the wrong choice of concrete use.
According to Public Works Ministry head of construction Hediyanto Husaini, construction projects in the country often use standard concrete instead of precast and prestressed concrete, which takes less time to construct.
“Unlike standard concrete, precast and prestressed concrete is much stronger, more efficient and more environmentally friendly,” he said during a seminar in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Precast concrete is a construction product made by casting concrete in a reusable mold, which is then cured in a controlled environment and transported to the construction site and lifted into place.
Prestressing is a method conducted alongside construction to overcome the natural weaknesses of concrete. Meanwhile, standard concrete is poured into site-specific forms and cured on site.
Association of Precast and Prestressed Concrete Companies (AP3I) chairman Wilfred Singkali said the use of precast concrete in Indonesia was still low due to a lack of knowledge in the field.
This situation could eventually drive more developers and concrete producers to use and produce standard concrete instead.
Wilfred, who is also president director of state-owned concrete maker PT Wijaya Karya Beton (WIKA Beton) , said that of the estimated six million metric tons of national concrete production this year, precast concrete accounted for less than 10 percent.
Even though the demand for precast concrete in the country was still low (as compared to demand for standard concrete), the combined national output of precast concrete could meet the low demand.
“Members of the association will put aside competition. They share knowledge and technology and increase cooperation and production to develop the country’s infrastructure,” he said.
With the AEC months away, the government is rushing to develop infrastructure, seeking help from local and foreign companies.
According to Hediyanto, as of 2012, precast concrete has only a 25 percent market share in the country’s construction industry.
“The establishment of the AP3I is hoped to increase the production and quality of precast concrete and the efficiency of infrastructure construction in the country,” he said.
He added the government was committed to increasing the use of precast and prestressed concrete in the construction industry to increase efficiency in construction.
“We’re targeting the market share of precast concrete in the construction industry to increase to 50 percent in the years to come,” Hediyanto said.
PT Investa Saran Mandiri analyst Kiswoyo Adi Joe said precast concrete was much more efficient and applauded the association’s effort to increase its use in construction.
“Construction using precast concrete is faster. It’s also more cost-efficient for contractors and concrete firms and beneficial for the country,” he said.
However, he said not all structures could be built using the precast technique, adding that the 50 percent market share the government had set would take a while to reach.
He warned that quality control and management must be conducted daily and routinely to avoid positioning errors, which could cause fatal and costly construction mistakes.
AP3I consists of 35 companies that produce precast and prestressed concrete and/or contractors that install concrete on construction sites.
Members include Wika Beton, PT Waskita Karya, PT Adhimix Precast Indonesia, PT Nindya Karya and PT Pembangunan Perumahan. (dwa, The Jakarta Post)