Barring a COVID-19 logjam, Indonesian builder PT Bandar Abadi is preparing to launch a new 90m steel barge from its facility in Batam, writes Jaya Prakash. Stanley Rojali, business development specialist at PT Bandar, tells Ship & Boat International that the unnamed barge will probably be rolled out in June this year, five months after construction commenced.
The barge will measure 20m in breadth and 5.5m in depth, and will carry up to 7,500tonnes of cargo. The yard adds that it typically takes four to six months to build such a barge.
The barges constructed by PT Bandar are mainly used for river transport and, Rojali says, are meant for operations in Indonesian waters. As such, these barges feature ballast systems for greater stability in choppy waters. The yard typically incorporates Nor Crane’s deck gear, including winches capable of lifting up to 300tonnes, into its new barge designs.
Indonesia’s domestic barge market is expected to grow as population growth fires up demand for coal, sand and grains, according to Indonesian tug and barge operator Mitrabahtera Segara Sejati (MBSS). This will drive demand for barges and tugs because of the byzantine network of shipping routes within the Indonesian archipelago.
Demand for barges is also being fuelled by attempts to ‘electrify’ Indonesia. In February 2019, the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources issued its 2019-2028 Electricity Procurement Plan (RUPTL), which sets out projections regarding electricity demand and growth, and the country’s potential long-term energy mix. The RUPTL predicts an annual increase of 6.42% in electricity demand up until 2028, which could see an additional 56.6GW of planned power projects built by that deadline.
A Wood Mackenzie consultancy report adds that coal power generation in Southeast Asia will grow and peak in 2027 before slowing. Most of the demand will come from Indonesia and Vietnam which, by inference, could mean more and more barges will be built in the years to come.