ADB Funds for Coal Power Plants Early Retirement, Tourism Tax, AmCham HR Committee on Immigration, Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Train Launched
Oct 02, 2023
ADB to Disburse Coal Power Plants Early Retirement Funds
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will soon launch its first project as part of the early coal-fired power plant (PLTU) retirement project in Indonesia.
Negotiations on the early retirement of PLTU Cirebon-1 are still underway, said ADB Senior Advisor Warren Evans. With a capacity of 660 megawatts, the power plant has an estimated early retirement cost of $300 million, according to ADB's calculations. A funding memorandum of understanding was signed by ADB and the Indonesian government back in November 2022.
This project will use ADB’s Energy Transition Mechanism (ETM) scheme, under which both public and private financing are utilized to refinance investment in coal-fired power plants, allowing for the acceleration of plant closure a decade earlier than expected and shortening power transaction agreements.
It is hoped this will open the door for other countries in Asia to take advantage of capital from ADB for their respective domestic PLTU early retirement programs. ADB is currently in discussions with countries such as the Philippines and Vietnam to reduce the age of coal-fired power plants. If it succeeds, this initiative could cut the age of coal-fired power plants by 50 percent, marking it as one of the world's largest decarbonization efforts.
Bali Tourist Tax To Be Used for Waste Management and Cultural Preservation
Bali will use the revenue generated from the new tourist tax, to be collected starting next year, for waste management and cultural preservation programs as a result of the increasing number of waste and cultural damage committed by tourists, Bali Governor Mahendra Jaya said. The Bali administration will impose a tourist tax of Rp 150,000 or $10 per person for all foreign visitors, which will be paid electronically.
The Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy supports this initiative and will help implement it as soon as possible in order to maintain Bali’s status as a world-class tourist destination, said Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Secretary Ni Wayan Giri Andyani. The tax collection should also be socialized so the tourists can adapt to the regulation. The correct narrative, clear procedures, and funding transparency are also needed prior to implementation.
The new Golden Visa was among the recent immigration updates discussed at the latest AmCham Indonesia Human Resources (HR) committee meeting on Sept 21. The session was attended by Immigration Analyst from the Directorate General of Immigration Ade Widhia Sathria Suryawirawan, who shared details on the major immigration policy changes for foreign nationals hoping to enter the country.
Ade said most of the changes from the new Minister of Law and Human Rights Regulation (Permenkumham) 22/2023 were to provide clarity on aspects which people had found unclear. Overall, requirements for certain visa types were simplified and stay permits were also adjusted to accommodate the needs of incoming foreign nationals.
Participants were enthusiastic in asking questions on various visa related topics, particularly on regulatory changes for expatriates who are already and/or planning to invest and work in Indonesia. AmCham Indonesia would like to thank the Directorate General of Immigration for their attendance and participants for their active engagement throughout the meeting. Further inquiries can be made to Pat Puspitasari ([email protected] or 62 812 1647 9688).
Jokowi Launches Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Train
President Joko Widodo launched the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Train (KCJB) today, Oct 2. Nicknamed the “Whoosh,” the high speed train is now ready for commercial operations following the issuance of the train’s operational license by the Ministry of Transportation.
The Whoosh project is managed by a joint venture consisting of a consortium of state-owned enterprises (BUMN) through Pilar Sinergi BUMN Indonesia and Chinese company Beijing Yawan HSR, costing more than $7.3 million to construct, including loans from the state-owned China Development Bank due to cost overruns and delays caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The 142 kilometer high-speed railway connecting Jakarta and Bandung is a designated National Strategic Project under Presidential Regulation 3/2016. The launch comes far behind its 2019 original operational target.
President Widodo intends to invite Chinese President Xi Xinping to ride the train sometime in the future, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan said.
Higher Parking Tariffs for Vehicles Skipping Emission Tests
The Jakarta government has implemented increased parking tariffs for vehicles skipping the mandatory emission tests, starting yesterday, Oct 1. The policy is to ensure more vehicles are tested and to reduce air pollution in the city. The punitive tariff will be set at Rp 5,000 per hour, which is an additional Rp 2,000 from the hourly standard tariff.
There are 131 parking locations, managed by city-owned market operator Pasar Jaya, which will enforce the disincentive, spokesperson for the Jakarta Air Pollution Control Task Force (PPU) Ani Ruspitawat said. The parking meter software will be integrated with the Jakarta Environment Department's database, which collects information on vehicle emission tests.
So far, the Jakarta government has collaborated with 333 car repair shops and 108 motorcycle repair shops to provide emission tests, along with 45 locations managed by a private company to offer free emission tests, Ani said.
Stay safe, call a doctor if you have a high fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. Stay healthy above all else.
AmCham Update is AmCham's regular newsletter on developments related to the pandemic crisis and other issues in Indonesia. It is edited by AmCham Managing Director A Lin Neumann and written by the AmCham Staff. Paul L Goddard.