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Jakarta pushing on with developing Banten ports

Jakarta pushing on with developing Banten ports
Despite the misgivings of industry players, the Jakarta government will go ahead with a plan to develop three smaller ports in Banten in hopes of further reducing dwelling time at Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) the biggest terminal operator at Tanjung Priok, after it met the government's initial target of reducing the average dwell time to less than five days, local media reported.

JICT has now been given a new target of three days, and Agung Kuswandono, spokesman of the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister, said after achieving an average of 4.7 days in dwell time JICT was now preparing new measures to reach the new target.

"[Among other strategies] we will operate a port train and activate three ports in Banten," Agung said. The port train in Banten only needed minor changes before it could start operation, he said. "Going directly to Surabaya will also be possible.

The train has a capacity of 15 containers which will be increased to 30 boxes, Agung said. The three ports to be upgraded to international terminals are Ciwandan (owned by Indonesia Port Company), Merak Mas (owned by Sinar Mas Group) and Cigading (owned by Krakatau Steel).

"Those ports are natural deepwater ports; big ships can enter them without many modifications," Agung explained, also revealing that the Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister has held a meeting in Banten on 21 March with the JICT operator Pelindo II, regional governments and companies operating in Banten and neighboring areas invited.