Jakarta – State-owned port operator Pelabuhan Indonesia II, or Pelindo III, is planning to install power shore connections at all ports in Indonesia under its management by 2020 to reduce the costs of logistics and fuel imports in the country.
Ships docking in ports all over Indonesia are often required to keep their engine running since there is no connection to a landline power supply.
This pushes the cost of docking up as ships have to eat up more expensive imported fuel. It also denies ships time to do maintenance on their engine while docked.
The condition is at odds with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo's promise to improve logistics efficiency in the country.
On Monday, Pelindo III signed a memorandum of understanding with state utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) to use the latter's electricity surplus for power shore connections installed at Pelindo III's ports.
"This... synergy between state-owned enterprises [should] reduce logistics costs and make our ports more competitive," Doso Agung, the president director of Pelindo III, said in a statement.
"The shore power connections will reduce the need for more fuel when ships rest at our ports," Doso said.
The port operator spent Rp 70 billion ($4.9 million) this year to install 35 shore connection points at 13 ports and terminals.
Pelindo III plans to install connection points at its remaining 30 ports by the end of next year, said Wilis Aji Wiranata, Pelindo III's vice president for corporate communication.
"All of our ports should be connected by 2020. But we have to do it gradually," Wilis told the Jakarta Globe.
Capt. Ronald C. Schouten, the branch manager of local shipping company Temas Line Surabaya, said apart from cutting costs shore connection also allows ships to shut down their engine and perform maintenance on it as they dock.
"It will allow us to carry out maintenance when usually our ship's engine never stops. This breakthrough is a godsend for shipping companies like ours. We hope to see more shore connection facilities at all ports in Indonesia," Schouten said in a statement.
Surabaya-based Pelindo III operates ports in East Java, Central Java, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara.
The largest port under its management is Tanjung Perak in Surabaya, the second busiest seaport in Indonesia after Jakarta's Tanjung Priok.
Pelindo III saw traffic at its ports grow 15 percent in gross tonnage from 196 million tons in the third quarter of 2018 to 224 million tons in the same period this year.