Bali, Indonesia (Metro Rail Today): A consortium of South Korean contractors, led by Korea National Railway (KNR), has secured a significant contract to conduct a comprehensive study on the feasibility of implementing a light metro system in Bali. Backed by the financing support of South Korea's Eximbank, the consortium, consisting of national operator Korail, KRT Co Ltd, Saman Co Ltd, and Dongmyeong Co. Ltd, will delve into the possibilities of the proposed Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport - Central Parkir section of Bali's envisioned light metro. The study, with a budget of 16 billion won, is scheduled to be completed by the end of August 2024.
The plan for the light metro in Bali's southern region was announced by Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs & Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, on September 27. The primary phase of the Bali LRT, spanning 9.5 kilometers in a north-south direction, will be divided into two segments, covering the route from I Gusti Ngurah Rai Airport to Central Parkir (5.3 km) and Central Parkir to Seminyak (4.2 km). The proposed system is expected to operate mostly underground, with certain portions at street level.
Subsequent stages of the project may involve extensions further north to Canggu and Mengwi, potentially expanding the reach and impact of the metro network. Given the projected passenger influx of 24 million annually at the airport by 2026, the implementation of the light metro is deemed crucial in alleviating the intense congestion along the routes to and from the airport. Minister Pandjaitan emphasized the critical significance of timely execution, highlighting the potential for excruciating traffic delays if the project does not materialize by the stipulated deadline.
Governor of Bali Sang Made Mahendra Jaya expressed the urgency of swift action, indicating the need to expedite the project timeline and prepare for the groundbreaking ceremony, which is anticipated to take place at the beginning of the first semester of 2024. The governor emphasized the necessity for prompt action, considering the rapid pace at which the project is progressing and the government's strong commitment to its successful implementation.
KNR Chairman Kim Han-young expressed optimism regarding the feasibility study, viewing it as a pivotal step toward showcasing South Korea's advanced railway systems in Bali, a world-class tourist destination. Following the success of the Jakarta LRT project, Kim emphasized the consortium's commitment to actively engage in international railway markets, fostering collaborative endeavors between Korail and private enterprises for mutually beneficial outcomes.