Indonesia promises rewards for constructors in $11bn Sunda bridge

19 March 2014

The government of Indonesia has said it will offer incentives to constructors who help to fund the $11bn, 30km-long Sunda Strait Bridge between Indonesia’s two largest islands, Java and Sumatra.

"We will provide incentives," said Hatta Rajasa, the co-ordinating economic minister. "If any constructors are interested in the project let us sit together and discuss the proposals."

But he declined to disclose exactly what kind of incentives the government would offer, saying it was to be discussed with interested parties and concerned ministries, according to The Jakarta Post.

Meanwhile, an Indonesian government website reported that the Chinese and Japanese governments are considering backing the scheme.

Bambang Susanto, deputy to the co-ordinating minister for the economy, said: "Japan has studied the project. China is also interested."

The proposed, 30km-long Sunda Strait Bridge would link Indonesia’s two largest islands, Java and Sumatra

However, he added that the government has not yet officially launched the project, and it had not been decided whether to build a bridge, a tunnel, or a combination of the two.

South Korea has also expressed an interest in the link and last year was reported to be considering investing in the bridge as part of a $10bn investment package in Indonesia.

The Sunda link is part of $19.6bn "Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Development for the Sumatra Corridor". When built, it will connect Bakauheni Port in Lampung, Sumatra, with Merak Port in Banten, Java. Earlier this year, the government has stated that no public money would be spent on the link.

At present about 2 million vehicles pass through the ports a year. According to data from the World Bank, Indonesian businesses spend $2,225 on a 12m container, for which they must wait five days, whereas their counterparts in other countries spend an average of $341 and wait three days.

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