Jakarta (VNA) - Indonesia plans to build a container port in the Batam Free Trade Zone and Free Port in Tanjungpinggir, Riau Islands, that will directly face Singapore and loccate only about 15km from the island country.

It will be a model of a green and smart port, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan was quoted by local media as saying during a visit to the proposed location for the port in Batam on January 24.

The ministry has studied the seaport site, he said, adding the design of the port will be environmentally-friendly. The surrounding lake and mangroves need to be protected and nurtured, he remarked.

The development area currently spans 94 hectares, but it will be expanded to about 330 hectares through reclamation, he said. Thus, the port would be larger than Indonesia’s current largest port of Tanjung Priok in Jakarta.
The seaport is also planned to be connected to Kuala Tanjung Port in North Sumatra, he added.

According to Pandjaitan, the port in Batam is part of his government's programme for saving costs in port construction.

In addition to port construction being halted on account of the COVID-19 pandemic, the cost of building a port in Indonesia is relatively high, with logistics needs accounting for 23 percent of the costs, higher than neighboring countries where logistics costs are pegged at around 13 percent, he noted. The cost is expected to drop by 17 percent by 2024.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi said that his ministry has opened opportunities for the private sector as wide as possible through the construction of ports./.