The construction of the Cikampek-Palimanan toll highway in West Jawa, Indonesia, has officially begun.

The project is estimated to cost IDR12.5tn (1.37bn) and entails the construction, ownership and operation of a 116km toll road connecting Cikampek and Palimanan in the West Java province.

The new highway will be built by a joint-venture company, PT Lintas Marga Sedaya (LMS), and controlled by PLUS Expressways (PLUS), which holds a 55% stake, with local partner Baskhara Utama Sedaya holding the remaining stake.

LMS has been granted a 35-year concession by the Government of Indonesia (GOI) to manage the highway, slated for completion in 2014.

Of the entire construction cost, IDR8.8tn (968m) is to be met through debt and the rest by equity.

The toll road construction is divided into six phases and will have four lanes, with an option for expansion to six lanes in future.

The 116Km highway will connect the two other highways, which would be linked in the future to form the Trans Jawa Highway, which will act as the main land corridor to the island improving access between the West and Central Java regions.

The Indonesian Government believes the project will serve as a key part of the 653km Trans Java Toll Road (TJTR) network, which the GOI plans to complete by 2014, enabling the development of the Northern Java Economic Development Corridor.

The development and operation of other planned toll road sections within the TJTR network are highly dependent on the completion of the Trans Jawa Highway project.

The project will support the northern Java coast lane which is one of the intercity road lanes connecting Jakarta and other vital cities in Java, as well as connect the existing busy Jakarta-Cikampek toll road to West Java’s Cirebon.

The Cikampek-Palimanan project requires extensive land acquisition, as 93% of 1,022 hectares has been acquired and the remaining land is yet to be acquired.

The Indonesian Government has offered the 1,000km Trans Jawa Highway project to 25 concession companies.