Nation helps region take the fast track

By PRIME SARMIENTO in Hong Kong and LEONARDUS JEGHO | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-10 08:10
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Workers lay tracks for the project. [Photo/Xinhua]


September 2015: China wins the contract to develop the first high-speed railway in Indonesia — the Jakarta-Bandung line, which will operate over 142.3 kilometers, connecting two of Indonesia's biggest cities.

October 2015: PT Kereta Cepat Indonesia China, or KCIC, is established to develop the line. KCIC is a joint venture between PT Pilar Sinergi BUMN, a consortium of Indonesian state-owned companies, and Beijing Yawan Co, a syndicate of Chinese railway companies. Chinese and Indonesian officials sign a $5.5 billion contract, with the Indonesian side controlling 60 percent of the joint venture, and the Chinese partner holding a 40 percent stake.

January 2016: Indonesian President Joko Widodo attends the groundbreaking ceremony for the project in Bandung, and Chinese President Xi Jinping sends a congratulatory letter to Widodo. Xi says the cooperative construction of the high-speed route marks an important consensus between the two countries.

March 2016: Indonesia's Ministry of Transportation and KCIC sign an agreement for the project, with the ministry issuing a full construction permit.

May 2017: KCIC signs a $4.5 billion loan agreement with China Development Bank in Beijing. Widodo and Xi witness the signing.

July 2018: KCIC hands over a housing cluster to compensate for homes and land belonging to the Indonesian Air Force that will be used for the project. Some 14 hectares of land in Halim, Jakarta, owned by the air force comprise one of the plots of land KCIC will acquire for the project in the coming months.

May 2019: A breakthrough is completed on the Walini Tunnel in West Bandung. The tunnel, one of 13 to be constructed for the project, was completed in 15 months. It has a diameter of 12.6 meters in the inner section and 14.3 meters in the outer section.

September 2020: KCIC says 60 percent of construction is completed, along with all land acquisitions. Safety and health protocols are enforced at construction sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers must complete temperature checks before entering the sites, where PCR tests are also conducted.

May 2021: Widodo visits two construction sites for the project to inspect progress. Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian accompanies Widodo. The Indonesian leader says during the visit he hopes Indonesians acquire the technology and expertise needed to build an extension line connecting Jakarta and Bandung with Surabaya, capital of East Java province.

September 2021: The last batch of 6,600 metric tons of rail lines for the project arrives at Cilacap Port, Central Java province. The rail lines are shipped in several batches from Fangchenggang, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

January 2022: Widodo visits the No 2 Tunnel construction site. He says the project is progressing smoothly despite the pandemic and complex geological conditions.

July 2022: Workers start laying ballast tracks on the main line for the new link. The length of the ballast track section is 112.8 km.

September 2022: A bullet train and an inspection train customized for the project arrive in Jakarta, designed and developed by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Co based on advanced technology used for China's Fuxing bullet trains, which operate at speeds of up to 350 km/h.

October 2022: Widodo visits Tegalluar station in Bandung to review progress. The station is one of four being built for the project. KCIC's president director Dwiyana Slamet Riyadi, accompanying Widodo, says 17 km of track has been installed at Tegullar.

November 2022: A section of the project is ready for a test run. The 14-km test track is located between Tegalluar station and Casting Yard No 4.

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