Multimillion-Dollar Blunder Builds Cruise Port Half Size

The Bali Times

KARANGASEM regency is urgently looking for Rp200 billion (US$21.9 million) to double the size of its showcase cruise terminal harbour near Padang Bai – because it has been built only half the size that’s needed to take cruise liners.

The new Amuk Port at Tanah Ampo, billed as the biggest in Southeast Asia, has already been delayed. It was due to open for business at the end of 2009. But Karangasem Regent Wayan Geredeg said this week he was still hopeful it would be open by the end of the year.

“Cruise ship operators said 150 metres was not enough for big ships to come ashore, so we still need to fix the design,” he said. “We have to expand the area by 150 metres.”

Regent Geredeg added: “We have missed the target, but we expect to finish it [the construction] by the middle of this year.”

Karangasem had requested the additional funding from the national government and was waiting for a response, he said.

Work on the port was started in 2006 at a project cost of Rp97 billion ($10.6 million).

Bali Tourism Board head Ngurah Wijaya said the harbour was crucial to boost the arrival on cruise ships of tourists to Bali.

“Bali is a strategic position for cruise ships from around the world to disembark,” he said. “We can attract hundreds of thousands of foreign tourists with the new harbour.”

Karangasem has already been listed as a destination by several international cruise ship operators and Bali tourism representatives said they were disappointed at the technical and funding delay as the new harbour was expected to substantially boost their industry.

Karangasem’s current infra-structure can accommodate only 13 cruise ships a year which use the busy Bali-Lombok ferry port at nearby Padang Bai to land passengers.

In recent months some cruise ships have used the incomplete Tanah Ampo facility from which passengers have been ferried ashore on small boats.

Funding for the project has come from three tiers of government with the national government providing Rp70 million ($7.68 million) for most of the construction work and the Bali administration allocating Rp22 billion ($2.4 million) for supporting infrastructure in the area.

Karangasem provided the land for the port, which it valued at Rp5 billion ($584,486).

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One Response to “Multimillion-Dollar Blunder Builds Cruise Port Half Size”

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