THE 142km Jakarta - Bandung high-speed rail line in Indonesia is $US 2bn over budget, although the Chinese-built project is now 88.8% complete and is on course to open in June 2023.

Indonesian president, Mr Joko Widodo, inspected Tegalluar station on October 13 where the consortium building the new railway, PT KCIC, displayed a high-speed train supplied by CRRC Qingdao. The 350km/h line will shorten the rail journey between the cities to from three hours to 40 minutes.

PT KCIC has said the cost of the project has risen to $US 7.36bn, $US 2bn over budget, while China estimates the project is less than $US 1bn over budget. KCIC is 60% controlled by Indonesian state companies including Wijaya Karya and PT KAI, while China Railway Engineering and other Chinese companies control the remaining 40%. The project is funded by a loan from China Development Bank.

KCIC’s president director, Mr Dwiyana Slamet Riyadi, confirmed the discrepancy in cost calculations, saying negotiations to find a resolution are underway.

China Railway Engineering says that since full construction began in June 2018, all 13 tunnels have been completed, while civil works and stations are more than 92% complete. Tracklaying now underway.

The line has stations at Halim, Karawang, Padalarang and Tegalluar in Bandung, West Java.

The first batch of high-speed train cars to be manufactured in China for the new line arrived at the port of Jakarta at the start of September, before being transported by road to Tegalluar depot to be assembled initially into one train.

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