by Jeff Smith
A couple of articles: CNBC, al Jazera
Southeast Asia's first high-speed train – a boon or bust for Indonesia's economy?
A $7.3 billion high-speed electric rail line between Indonesia's two biggest cities is set to be launched in October, marking a milestone in the country's quest to accelerate infrastructure development.
While it could improve overall economic and business productivity, those benefits may be overrun by Jakarta's soaring debt burden as project costs continue to mount.
The 142-kilometre train linking Indonesia's capital to Bandung is expected to move at 350 kilometers per hour, driven by electricity with no direct carbon emissions expected during operations. When completed, it will be the first of its kind in Southeast Asia.
Part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, it's funded by a consortium of Indonesian and Chinese state firms known as PT KCIC. It was initially expected to be completed by 2019 but has since been held back by various operational delays and a $1.2 billion budget overrun.
Indonesia’s Chinese-built bullet train delayed amid cost overruns
Medan, Indonesia – Indonesia’s Chinese-funded high-speed train service has been delayed for the second time in less than a month, in the latest setback for the project plagued by cost overruns and local scepticism.
The trial launch of the $7.3bn Jakarta-Bandung high-speed service, scheduled for Friday, will not go ahead as planned, a spokesperson for the project said.
“Not yet. We are still awaiting a decision from the Ministry of Transportation,” the spokesperson said on Tuesday.