The Port to Go Further South

   

Ambon New Port will begin construction by the end of December 2021 or January 2022 at the latest, as urgency builds up. The new port’s investment value is estimated at IDR5 trillion (USD348 million). Located on the border of Waai and Liang Villages, Ambon Island, Maluku, Ambon New Port is built to solve several persistent challenges the current port cannot solve.

The existing Ambon Port has almost reached its maximum capacity, which is projected to occur within 10-15 years. Land expansion for the existing port is also difficult, located amongst settlement areas and public facilities. A separate fishing port in the same province is also coming close to its cap, while the trade route itself in Ambon Bay remains one of the busiest in the nation.

To accommodate the growing number of containers and cargo passing through the port city, the government has urged construction for an Ambon New Port to begin immediately. Due to its high value towards the national economy, Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi has suggested that the Ambon New Port be included in one of the National Strategic Projects (PSN) for 2020-2024.

What makes the Ambon New Port different than the former one is not only its larger capacity, but its broader, more integrated facilities within the site. Built on 700-hectare land, the Ambon New Port will have several facilities. It will host international and domestic container terminals, roro terminals, fishing ports and processing facilities (TPI), industrial and logistics areas, plus LNG terminals and power plants. The total pier length will be 1,000 m (ultimate).

Fisheries will be particularly important for the province since the fishery is one of Maluku’s biggest potentials. In fact, the government aims for Maluku to be the National Fish Barn. Out of an estimated 4.7 million tonnes of fish in the area, Maluku could only capture 543,000 per year at the moment. With a better fishing port infrastructure, the government hopes that Ambon New Port will foster economic development, especially through export in the fishery industry.

Ambon New Port is also strategically located near Timor Leste and Papua Niugini. Moreover, the government hopes that the larger port will accommodate direct trade routes to Australia, thereby increasing export value.

The first phase of construction is estimated to cost IDR2.214 trillion (USD154 million), of which IDR1.207 (USD84 million) of the basic infrastructure will be taken from APBN. Meanwhile, for the next stage of construction, funding will come through the cooperation between Pelindo IV and the private sector through the Government and Business Entity Cooperation (PPP). The port’s investment scheme will use a PPP work scheme of up to IDR5 trillion (USD348 million).

With this plan for Maluku, the government wishes to increase the province’s value as a whole. Especially with its untapped potential in the fishery sector, the building of Ambon New Port will be in line with Maluku’s vision to be the National Fish Barn.