Under the rain, President Joko Widodo finally inaugurated Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road at Semboja Toll Gate in Kutai Kertanegara Regency, East Kalimantan on Tuesday (17/12).
The toll road is the first highway in Kalimantan, and it is one of the infrastructures built to support the new capital city construction, which is located in Penajam Paser Utara and Kutai Kertanegara in East Kalimantan.
Jokowi administration targets the government to be moved from Jakarta to Kalimantan by 2024. The President stated that this toll road would accelerate access to the region that had been determined a capital city.
One of the benefits of the toll road is it connects two airports, namely Adji Pangeran Tumenggung Pranoto International Airport in Samarinda and Sepinggan Airport in Balikpapan.
Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road is not fully finished. The finished segments are sections 2, 3, and 4 that span 58.7 kilometres. Sections 1 and 5 are not finished, but they are expected to be finished in 2020. The total length of the toll road is 99.3 kilometres.
The tariff is expected to be determined by the middle of January 2020. It will be in line with the toll road concession agreement (PPJT), which has set the tariff to be Rp1,000 per kilometre.
During his opening speech, the President stated that he had asked PT Jasa Marga (Persero) Tbk President Director to finish the two remaining toll sections. “God willing, [sections 1 and 5] will be finished by April 2020.”
The toll road is expected to provide speed and efficiency. With the toll road, travel time from Balikpapan to Samarinda is only around 1 or 1.25 hours. Before the toll road was constructed, travel time took 3 hours.
The President said that the toll road would accelerate Samarinda-Balikpapan connectivity and create connections. Besides that, the toll road will boost the production of palm oil, coal, gas, and agriculture industries.
Until now, the government has prepared three new toll roads that will improve connectivity of the new capital city in East Kalimantan after the operation of Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road.
The toll road construction uses the public-private partnership (PPP) scheme. PT Jasamarga Balikpapan Samarinda (JBS) is working on the three sections that span 66.4 kilometres. Meanwhile, construction of sections 1 and 5 are carried out by the government as part of the support for construction.
JBS receives funding from banks and national financial institutions to construct Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road. At the end of 2018, JBS signed a syndicated loan of Rp6.98 trillion. The syndicate involves 12 banks and 2 infrastructure funding institutions.
Besides loans, Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road project is also provided a guarantee by PT Penjaminan Infrastruktur Indonesia (Persero) (PII). The maximum guarantee that PII can provide reaches 6.12 trillion.
Toll Road Regulatory Agency (BPJT) Head Danang Parikesit said that his agency was designing three accesses to the capital city. He explained that the three segments originate from Samboja Interchange, Karang Joang Interchange, and southern Trans-Kalimantan toll road access.
“To improve connectivity from and to the capital city as well as attractiveness of East Kalimantan, there are three accesses to the capital city which improve the toll road network in East Kalimantan after Balikpapan-Samarinda,” he said.
Furthermore, Danang said that there was a plan to tender two toll segments. Meanwhile, Samboja-Sepaku toll segment is considered to be assigned to PT Jasa Marga Tbk, which is the toll road business entity (BUJT) that is in charge of Balikpapan-Samarinda toll road.
The assignment is an expansion on the scope of service. He predicts that each toll segment will span 30 km with an investment of around Rp150 billion to Rp200 billion per kilometre.
According to him, a pre-feasibility study has been implemented for the three toll segments, so a feasibility study can be carried out next year.
Then, the toll segments will be tendered while resolving land acquisition. The three toll segments are not national strategic projects, so they are proposed to be acknowledged as one. “Overall, the construction took 40 months of discussion and 2 years of physical construction. We will make [the constructions] separate to be quicker,” Danang said.
The progress can be accelerated as there is a new policy which allows skipping the prequalification stage. Danang said that the process from prequalification to tender winner announcement took one year, but the process would only take six months by skipping prequalification.
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