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Indonesia targets launch of new deep sea port in November

JAKARTA, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Indonesia aims to complete the first phase of construction of a $3 billion deep sea port on the northern coast of Java island by November, a senior minister said on Tuesday, after President Joko Widodo ordered an acceleration of the project.

The 43.2 trillion rupiah ($2.92 billion) Patimban port in the town of Subang in West Java is among the government’s priority projects in order to relieve pressure on Jakarta’s congested Tanjung Priok port.

Coordinating Minister of Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said the president had called for the port to be launched in November. It is set to host a first shipment of cars after the launch, Hartarto told a streamed news conference.

Over 80% of the work on building docks and land reclamation has been completed, while construction of breakwaters and sea walls had reached almost 56%, he said.

A consortium of Japanese and Indonesian companies is building the first phase and the project is partly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The president told a cabinet meeting broadcast live that the port would improve infrastructure near the Karawang and Purwakarta industrial parks, “therefore improving the competitiveness of our export products, especially in the automotive sector.”

West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said the port could also support his plan to establish a new metropolitan city and create five million jobs in the next 15 years.

The port will have to be capable of handling containers of 3.5 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) after the first stage is completed, and capacity will ultimately be raised to 7.5 million TEUs in the final stage by 2027, according to media reports. ($1 = 14,777.0000 rupiah) (Reporting by Maikel Jefriando; Writing by Gayatri Suroyo Editing by Ed Davies)

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