China to fund Malacca-Indonesia bridge

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straits_of_malacca_bridgeChina’s state-owned Export-Import (Exim) Bank has proposed to fund most of the planned 50 kilometer-long bridge from Malacca in Malaysia to Dumai in Indonesia over one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, the Strait of Malacca. The project was previously thwarted by the regional economic crisis and then by environmental concerns.

Now the Malacca state government has re-appointed Strait of Malacca Partners to be the master planner and builder of the bridge, estimated to cost $14 billion.

“The project is definitely on, but it will take time as we are still at the feasibility stage,” Lim Sue Beng, the private firm’s managing director, told The Straits Times on October 17. He said approval from the federal government is still needed.

The bridge will be part of a 71 kilometer-long expressway from Pulau Rupat, where the bridge ends, to Dumai in Riau province, which is known for its oil palm plantations, including some owned by Malaysian companies. The bridge will make it easier to transport raw materials from Indonesia’s Sumatra island to Malaysia while opening new markets for businesses in both countries.

Lim said the Exim Bank, an equity partner in the project, has agreed to loan 85 per cent of the bridge’s cost. The rest will come from regional sovereign funds and private investors. The partners, he said, plan to charge motorists $80 each way.

The idea of a bridge between the two countries was first mooted in 1996 by then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Then came the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Over the years, the Malacca government has tried but failed to revive it.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

China’s state-owned Export-Import (Exim) Bank has proposed to fund most of the planned 50 kilometer-long bridge from Malacca in Malaysia to Dumai in Indonesia over one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, the Strait of Malacca. The project was previously thwarted by the regional economic crisis and then by environmental concerns.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

straits_of_malacca_bridgeChina’s state-owned Export-Import (Exim) Bank has proposed to fund most of the planned 50 kilometer-long bridge from Malacca in Malaysia to Dumai in Indonesia over one of the world’s busiest shipping routes, the Strait of Malacca. The project was previously thwarted by the regional economic crisis and then by environmental concerns.

Now the Malacca state government has re-appointed Strait of Malacca Partners to be the master planner and builder of the bridge, estimated to cost $14 billion.

“The project is definitely on, but it will take time as we are still at the feasibility stage,” Lim Sue Beng, the private firm’s managing director, told The Straits Times on October 17. He said approval from the federal government is still needed.

The bridge will be part of a 71 kilometer-long expressway from Pulau Rupat, where the bridge ends, to Dumai in Riau province, which is known for its oil palm plantations, including some owned by Malaysian companies. The bridge will make it easier to transport raw materials from Indonesia’s Sumatra island to Malaysia while opening new markets for businesses in both countries.

Lim said the Exim Bank, an equity partner in the project, has agreed to loan 85 per cent of the bridge’s cost. The rest will come from regional sovereign funds and private investors. The partners, he said, plan to charge motorists $80 each way.

The idea of a bridge between the two countries was first mooted in 1996 by then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Then came the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Over the years, the Malacca government has tried but failed to revive it.

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