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February 17, 2010

Indonesia to invite bids for coal line

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THE INDONESIAN government says it will invite bids in May for the construction of a $US 1.5 billion railway that will serve the coalfields of Central Kalimantan province in Borneo. According to the country's planning ministry, the 185km single-track line from Puruk Kahu to the Barito river port of Bangkuang will be built as a public-private partnership (PPP).

Feasibility studies were completed last August and the government has begun land acquisition for the project, although it says 70% of the route is already state-owned. When it opens in 2013 the line will have capacity for 10 million tonnes of coal per year, increasing to 20 million tonnes within 10 years.

In the longer term, the Indonesian government envisages the construction of a 1900km railway network in Central Kalimantan, starting with a 175km extension from Bangkuang to Lupak Dalam.

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