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Sibolga’s Larger, Better Port to Boost Economy

Sibolga’s larger, better port to boost economy. Sibolga Port on the west coast of North Sumatra is expected to help expand the...

Written by Erwin Prasetyo · 2 min read >
Better Port to Boost Economy

Sibolga’s larger, better port to boost economy. Sibolga Port on the west coast of North Sumatra is expected to help expand the economy of the province and its surrounding regions following its inauguration by President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo on Sunday.

Better Port to Boost Economy
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (center), accompanied by First Lady Iriana, listens to State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno (second left) and Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi (third left) as he inspects the newly re-inaugurated Sibolga Port in Sibolga, North Sumatra, on Sunday. Sibolga’s larger, better port to boost economy (Antara/Irsan Mulyadi)

In his speech, Jokowi said the renovation works could revive its heydays of the 1970s as a vital port to help boost economic activities in the region.

“When I was an elementary school student in the 1970s, the Sibolga Port was well-known among students. Now, we need to revive the port in facilitating the mobility of goods and services,” he added.

The port’s expansion has increased the capacity of its passenger terminal from 80 people to 500. In total, it has an area of 2,786 square meters.

Jokowi said the government would enhance the port’s facilities to improve logistics in the region.

“We will hopefully add crude palm oil [CPO] storage facilities at the Sibolga Port so that CPO exporters can ship their products through it,” he said.

The port’s expansion would allow vessels with a weight of up to 6,000 gross tons (GT) to moor there. Previously, only vessels weighting up to 2,000 GT could drop anchor at the port.

“The passenger terminal previously only had capacity for 80 people, now it can accommodate 500 passengers,” he said.

“The port also has separate terminals for ferries and cargo vessels so it will operate more efficiently.”

State-owned port operator Pelindo I president director Bambang Eka Cahyana said following its expansion the port had recorded improvement in its performance and services.

He added that it had facilitated the loading and unloading of 7,105 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers last year, up from 6,739 TEUs in 2017.

In terms of passengers, the port accommodated 73,085 people last year, a 34.8 percent increase from 54,215 the previous year, Bambang said.

The operator had also expanded the Sibolga Port’s multipurpose dock, which now spans 153 meters with 405-m moorings, allowing four vessels to simultaneously drop anchor at the port, he added. The depth of the water at the port is about 6 to 7 m means it has low water spring.

Meanwhile, the port’s 6,061-square meter container yard now had a capacity of 20,000 TEUs per year, almost three-fold its capacity of 7,000 TEUs before the expansion commenced in 2016, according to Bambang.

He added that in an effort to accelerate the loading and unloading of goods at the port, Pelindo I had equipped the port with a fix crane with a capacity of 40 tons—improving  its productivity to 25 boxes per crane per hour (BCH) from the previous average of 15 BCH for containers and 120 tons per hour from 60 tons per hour for general cargo—and a reach stacker.

Jokowi canceled his plan to inaugurate Kuala Tanjung Port in Batubara regency, North Sumatra, on Saturday due to technical issues. The port is touted to be Indonesia’s largest port after the country’s main gateway, Tanjung Priok Port, in North Jakarta.

State-Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno expressed hopes that Pelindo I, which also operates ports in Aceh and Riau Islands, would improve its performance as a world-class operator considering its role as western Asia’s main gateway to Indonesia.

“When we talk about India, Bangladesh and the Middle East, here is their main gate,” she said during the launch of Pelindo I’s office in Belawan, Medan, North Sumatra.

The minister added she expected Pelindo I to contribute more profit that other state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

“SOEs’ profits in 2018 are not final yet, but Insya Allah [God willing] it will be Rp190 trillion [US$13 billion], including Rp900 billion from Pelindo I,” she said. Sibolga’s larger, better port to boost economy (ars, Apriadi Gunawan, The Jakarta Post)

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