Sabtu , 23 September 2017, 12:18 WIB

We must turn back on sea: Luhut Pandjaitan

Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Antara/Sigid Kurniawan
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (white shirt).
Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan (white shirt).

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said the maritime day on Sept 23 should be a momentum to develop the sea potentials.

"For years we have forgotten the sea, which makes up 75 percent of Indonesian territory. We have even turn our back on the sea for tens of years," Luhut said here on Friday.

He said Indonesia should turn again to the sea, which is highly potential for the economy to improve the people's welfare.

The government wants to develop the potential, he noted, adding, "we have made a lot of changes , issuing policies to make the sea more productive," he said.

Among the policies concern sea toll road, a freeway connecting seaports all over Indonesia, he said.

"The sea toll road policy of President Joko Widodo begins to bear fruit such as in lowering prices especially the price of the people's basic necessities in eastern Indonesia by 15-20 percent," he pointed out.

He said the government has built more than 30 logistic centers in remote areas to help creating balance in prices.

Another big success is in driving illegal fishing away from Indonesian waters after the government destroyed or sank hundreds of foreign fishing boats found illegally operating in Indonesian seas, he said.

In the past foreign fishing boats had operated almost freely in Indonesian waters leaving no fishing ground for Indonesian traditional fishermen.

Now with illegal fishing is no longer a big problem, the sea is open widely for traditional fishermen to expand their operations.

"Certainly, there is a lot to do how to improve productivity of our fishermen and to increase our fish production and to be processed in the country," Luhut said.

Meanwhile, all three state-owned port operators - PT Pelindo I, Pelindo II, and PT Pelindo III said they had built sea infrastructure to back up the sea toll road project.

The three companies were speaking at news conference on the sidelines of the Indonesia Business Development Expo (IBDExpo) 2017, at the Jakarta Convention Center, here on Friday.

Senior Vice President for Marketing and Government Relations of Pelindo III, Sugiono, said five of the company's 17 ports - Tanjung Perak, Tanjung Emas, Sampit, Banjarmasin, and Kupang are included in the sea toll road program.

Pelindo III operates 17 ports in Central Java, East Java, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), South Kalimantan and Central Kalimantan.

Sugiono said in Tanjung Perak of Semarang, the port basin has been drilled to increase its depth to 13 meters from 8.5 meters earlier to allow bigger ships to dock at the port.

Meanwhile facilities are being improved to improve service at the at port of Sampit of Central Kalimantan, Banjarmasin of South Kalimantan, Kupang of Timor, Container Terminal of Surabaya.

Pelindo III has spent Rp12 trillion for the program from 2011-2017 and Rp4.5 trillion more would be spent until 2019.

Meanwhile, Senior Vice President of Operation of Pelindo II David P Sirait said the company has completed a number of phases of sea toll road development program with significant results.

"With the completion of development of container terminal Peti Kemas 1 in New Priok, Kali Baru, exports could now be made directly from Jakarta to the United States," David said. Earlier exports to the United States had to be via Singapore.

Altogether, four of 16 ports under Pelindo II including New Priok, Sorong, Terminal Kijing, Cikarang Bekasi Laut, are included the strategic project, he said.

He said Pelindo II has set aside Rp40 trillion for investment and Rp14.5 trillion of which for the development of the ports of New Priok, Sorong, Kijing, and Cikarang Bekasi Laut.

Managers of Stakeholders of Pelindo I Asih Kurnia said the company is expanding the ports of Malahayati, Kuala Tanjung, Dumai, and Batam.

"The expansion of the port infrastructure is expected to result in a 50 percent cut in shipping cost," Asih said. 

Sumber : Antara