Indonesia seeks foreign aid in planning the new capital

Preparations are under way to relocate the Indonesian seat of government to the province of East Kalimantan with foreign planners asked to refine Indonesian designs. Non-Indonesian suppliers can compete in a two-stage design competition to the course.

Indonesia seeks foreign aid in planning the new capital

Indonesia is building a new, yet unnamed capital in the province of East Kalimantan, to be located between the two major cities of Samarinda and Balikpapan. Work there is slated to start as early as 2024. Responsible for the planning is the Indonesian Ministry of Public Works and Housing, which is currently preparing a two-stage competition of the capital’s design.

In the first phase – slated to run from early October to the end of December of 2019 – Indonesian architects and urban planners are invited to submit their proposals. From these proposals, a panel of subject matter experts will select the three best to be presented on December 23. During the second phase, foreign planners will be invited to refine these designs in an open competition slated to run from April 1 to August 31, 2020. Their role, possibly, would be limited to consultancy in this prestigious national project.

According to the national planning authority Bappenas, the city will comprise at its core an area of 42,000 hectares. Open green areas should make up about half of the total area in order to contribute to its green image. Apparently, a center for orang-utan, the symbolic animals of Kalimantan, is planned.

The period of publication of the Terms of Reference (TOR), i.e. the specific specifications of government representation, residential and commercial buildings to be created, is not yet known. On request, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing states that the committee for the coordination of capital construction, which was newly established in the BPN (Bina Penataan Bangunan) Directorate, should be filled and operational by the end of 2019.

PPP (Public Private Partnership) funded projects should handle more than half of the construction Bappenas has submitted in its financing plan. According to the estimated total cost of Rp 466 trillion (roughly US$33.7 billion US dollars), 54.4% of that cost would be covered by public-private partnership (PPP). The private sector is being asked to cover 26.4% of the cost, while the state budget would cover the remaining 19.2%. According to Bappenas, the PPP tenders for construction projects are open to both foreign companies and large Indonesian state-owned companies, in which private companies may participate in via a consortium.

The financing depends on the type of construction project. Thus, the private sector is to take over the construction and expansion of housing, colleges, ports, airports, highways, technology parks, shopping malls and exhibition facilities. The state budget is to support the construction of basic infrastructure, the presidential palace, military and police headquarters, public servants' quarters and the design of open green spaces. The PPP program will build infrastructure, public administration buildings, health and education facilities, and museums and prisons.

Expertise for green buildings
The new capital should symbolize the modernity and progressiveness of Indonesia. The environmental awareness arising in the archipelago should be reflected here. It is therefore to be expected that energy efficiency and sustainability will play a major role. Technologically, however, Indonesia relies mainly on foreign know-how and imported technology.

In addition, renewable energies should contribute as much as possible to the power supply of the new capital, in which 1.5 million people is expected to populate. But concrete plans for this are not yet available. Currently, electricity in the province of East Kalimantan, as well as in the entire archipelago, is generated predominantly from fossil fuels.

There are hardly any incentives for the development and expansion of renewable energy sources in Indonesia. Nevertheless, it is to be expected that public buildings or company headquarters in the new capital will place solar panels on roofs and plots of land for image reasons – regardless of whether their operation is economically worthwhile.

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