A consortium of Chinese contractors and developers looks favourite to build Indonesia’s first high-speed rail link after the Ministry of Planning (Bappens) rejected a rival proposal from a Japanese group.

The project will see a 120 km link built between the Indonesian capital Jakarta and the city of Bandung, which is the capital of the province of West Java. Journey times between the two cities are expected to be 30 minutes using the new line. The current journey time is about three hours by road or four hours by using existing rail links.

Bappens had previously rejected proposals from both the Chinese and Japanese groups, when projected costs for the scheme rose to some IDR 78 trillion (US$ 5.4 billion). However, the Chinese proposal has since been modified to include a financing mechanism for the scheme. According to Bappens, construction of the new line will not require any state funding.

Minister for planning, Dr Sofyan Djalil, said, "Of course the Japanese were disappointed, but they realise also that this was the decision of the Indonesian government."

The members of the Chinese consortium have not been named, but it is believed to include a number of large state-owned contractors and rolling stock manufacturers. The contract for the project has not yet been awarded.

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