Jakarta. Japanese automotive conglomerates Toyota Motor Corporation and Mitsubishi Corporation are among several companies lining up to bid on obtaining management rights for the Patimban port in West Java, an official said on Thursday (18/05).
The port, which is being developed by the government with funding and support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), is expected to start operations in 2020 to divert some activity from the country's main seaport at Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta.
"From Indonesia, only Pelindo II has shown interest in bidding for the port management contract," Transportation Ministry director general of sea transport Tonny Budiono said, referring to state-owned port operator Pelabuhan Indonesia II.
"We will have an auction later to determine who acquires the contract," Tonny said.
Still, Toyota and Mitsubishi need to find a local partner before they can formally bid for the management contract, in accordance with a national regulation capping foreign ownership of port management operations at 49 percent.
Tonny said Patimban port will feature a special terminal for importing and exporting motor vehicles, crucial to Toyota and Mitsubishi as both companies have previously stated that they intend to transform Indonesia into their primary car export base in the region.
The port is also only a two-hour drive from the Cikarang industrial complex on the eastern outskirts of Jakarta, where both Toyota's and Mitsubishi's manufacturing facilities are located.
Patimban seaport will have a capacity of shipping and receiving 7.5 million 20-foot equivalent units per year, nearly matching Tanjung Priok's capacity of managing eight million of similarly sized units.
The government estimates that Patimban port will need an influx of Rp 40 trillion ($3 billion) in new investments in coming years, with JICA planning to lend $1.7 billion in financing. That loan is expected next month, Tonny said.