Indonesia president breaks ground on airport in new capital

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo on Wednesday broke ground on the construction of an airport in the country’s new capital city, Nusantara.

Jokowi, as the president is known, is this week expected to launch a total of 10 projects worth 12.5 trillion rupiah ($783.85 million) in Nusantara, which Indonesia is building from scratch amid the jungles of Borneo island.

The 347-hectare airport is expected to be fully operational by December 2024, the president said, without detailing the total value of the project.

The Southeast Asian country has struggled to attract private investment in the $32-billion city, a flagship project of Jokowi’s aimed at moving the seat of government away from congested Jakarta. The country has allocated 40.6 trillion rupiah for the construction of Nusantara in its 2024 budget.

A consortium of Indonesian companies including energy firm Adaro, conglomerate Astra International, property firm Agung Sedayu Grup, and energy company Barito Pacific have invested about 20 trillion rupiah in Nusantara.

The consortium launched construction on a hotel in September this year. It is still unclear what other projects will be funded by that investment.

($1 = 15,947.0000 rupiah)

(Reporting by Ananda Teresia and Stefanno Sulaiman; Editing by Kanupriya Kapoor)