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Indonesia's first private railway given the go ahead

Indonesia's first private railway given the go ahead

Jakarta: One of the largest gripes shippers have had with Indonesia has been the poor infrastructure inland. Hope is on the horizon, with news the country has granted the construction of a private railway, a first for Indonesia.  A 130-kilometre railway that will ease the transport of raw materials and finished products in and out of the East Kutai region in Indonesia's East Kalimantan Province -- where the government of Ras Al Khaimah, an emirate within the UAE, has a major coal mining concession -- is ready for construction.
In a meeting between Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, it was announced that the first private railway in Indonesia is ready for construction.
"This undertaking will create multiple benefits to the development of the local economy in East Kalimantan. It sets a positive tone for future investments from the Middle East," said President Yudhoyono.
Shaikh Saud said: "This type of public-private, Middle Eastern-Indonesian initiative is a fantastic example of what can be accomplished when the fundamentals make sense for all parties involved. This project will help meet the development needs of East Kalimantan communities, while also serving to meet the energy challenges in Asia, particularly India and China."
MEC Infra will invest $1 billion (Dh3.6 billion) in constructing the railway corridor to link the mine site at Muara Wahau to Bengalon on the coast.
With equity partner NALCO, an Indian government entity and Asia's largest integrated aluminium complex, MEC and NALCO proposed to invest $2 billion in a Greenfield aluminium smelter producing 500,000 tons of aluminium per annum. A further $2 billion investment will build a 1,250 megawatt captive power plant and other auxiliary facilities for the smelter. [16/12/09]

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