The government has finally decided to select Japan as its partner in the revitalization of the railway connecting Jakarta and Surabaya, East Java.
"We have decided that we will use [the scheme] with Japan," Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said as quoted by kontan.co.id on Sunday, adding that the preliminary feasibility study for the project was slated to start in May.
"There will be joint study with Japan and we hope that [the construction] will finish in the fourth quarter of 2019," Luhut said.
Office of the Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister deputy of infrastructure coordination Ridwan Djamaludin said the government would consider two schemes for the construction: eradicating level grade crossings or constructing elevated railways. There are around 988 level grade crossings between the two cities.
“It could also be combination of the two, depending on conditions on the ground," he said.
The project aims to increase the speed of the rail connecting the two cities, from around 90 kilometers per hour to 160 kilometers per hour.
The government is also still considering the technology that will power the trains: diesel, which will cost Rp 30 trillion (US$2.2 billion), or electricity with its Rp 80 trillion price tag.
Japan previously lost to China the high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung, West Java.
This article was first published by The Jakarta Post on the 28th of March, 2017.