"We are sure we will carry out the groundbreaking this year," says Mr Milawarma.

The project will be implemented by PT Bukit Asam Transpacific Railways a joint venture between PT Transpacific Railway Infrastructure, with an 80% holding, China Railway Engineering Corporation (10%), and PTBA.

The railway will transport coal from mines at Banko Tengah and Tanjung Enim to a terminal in Bandar Lampung, and will have a capacity of 25 million tonnes a year.