Eiffage Concessions, one of the largest European firms that engages in the public works sector, has expressed interest in the railway construction project that will connect the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Manggarai district in South Jakarta.
The government has previously detailed a plan to build two railway lines — express and commuter — connecting soon-to-be-expanded Soekarno-Hatta International Airport with Manggarai.
While state-owned airport operator, Angkasa Pura II, and state railway operator, Kereta Api Indonesia, will jointly handle the Rp 1.7 trillion ($178 million) commuter line, the government has invited private firms to participate in the express line which will be more costly.
Jacques-Nicolas Ojea, an Eiffage Concessions representative, revealed the French firm’s interest in the 19.3 kilometer railway line during an event on public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects held by the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) in London on Wednesday.
“Our company is interested in developing the Manggarai-Soekarno Hatta Railway line,” said Ojea, as quoted by state news agency Antara.
Ojea said that he will visit Jakarta in the near future to discuss the plan further. “A day would not be enough [time] to talk about this huge project,” he added.
In addition to Eiffage, companies from the United States, Japan and Spain were said to have shown interest in the project. The express line is an elevated railway track that will go directly to Manggarai from the airport. The project would cost $1.1 billion and the government is currently conducting a feasibility study to determine the best possible routes.
The commuter line has begun and will be fully operational in 2014. The project will involve the construction of additional tracks on the existing line to Tangerang.
The Soekarno-Hatta airport is currently undergoing a massive $1.2 billion overhaul that will increase its capacity to 62 million passengers a year.
The airport, which is the 12th busiest in the world, suffers from overcrowding. Last year it handled some 51.5 million passengers, well above its maximum capacity of 22 million passengers per year.
Aside from the railway project, BKPM deputy chief Tamba Hutapea, said that at least four more PPP infrastructure projects were also being offered during the event.
The projects include a water treatment plant in East Java with an estimated value of $78 million, a 60.1-kilometer toll road in West Java ($1 billion), a 450-megawatt hydro power plant in West Sulawesi ($1.3 billion) and a solid waste management facility in Riau Islands ($120 million).
“We have held similar events in Hong Kong and Amsterdam and are planning for another in New York,” he added.
Tamba said the event is not only aimed at interested investors but is also an opportunity to learn about past experiences in handling PPP projects from the host country. “England is one of the countries which has a long experience in PPP schemes,” he noted.