Initial investment of around IDR7trn ($756m) is believed to be required to transform the area into a major transhipment center for Indonesia. The port's initial 2km of wharves aims to handle 4m teu when ready around 2015.
The port is planned as part of Indonesia's overhaul of its transport infrastructure to cope with growing domestic demand and could prove to be a competitor to the port of Singapore as it targets East Asian traffic.
It will be part of a sea corridor that will also see the ports of Medan, Jakarta, Surabaya, Makassar and Sorong form six large ports that can serve as transit points for smaller feeder ports all across the archipelago.
Tanjung Sauh is seen as an ideal location as almost no dredging or reclamation is needed and has room for expansion as it is across the island from the existing port at Batu Ampar. Batam officials are supporting the project and the islandhas already been declared a special economic zone.