Two of Sinar Mas Group-affiliated companies – PT Inti Bangun Sejahtera Tbk (IBST) and PT Smart Telecom – joined by PT Mora Telematika Indonesia (Moratelindo), have won the bid to construct the eastern package of the Palapa Ring II project, estimated at Rp 14 trillion ($1 billion).
The project entails development of 6,300-km of fiber optics connecting East Nusa Tenggara, Maluku, West Papua and Papua.
Publicly-listed telecom firm Inti Bangun will be holding the majority stake in the project, according to reports.
Ismail Cawidu, spokesperson at the Information and Communication Ministry said, the consortium had been picked on June 17. Other contenders for the project were PT XL Axiata Tbk (EXCL)–PT Indosat Tbk (ISAT)–PT Alita Praya Prima consortium.
“The ministry had opened a refutation period between June 20 and July 13. As there has been no refutation, the date for winner declaration has been forwarded,” he said in Jakarta, as quoted by local media Investor Daily.
“Currently, the tender committee is waiting for further directions from the minister,” Cawidu added.
Members of the Sinar Mas consortium could not be reached for a comment.
The Palapa Ring II project is divided into three packages – west, center and east – based on areas. It would lay out a total of 8,395 km of undersea fiber optic cables, providing the backbone for Internet connections across the archipelago’s 33 provinces and 460 cities and districts.
The west package will cover Riau, Riau Islands and Natuna Island with 2,000 kilometers of fiber optic cable. It was won by the Moratelematika Indonesia and Ketrosden Triasmitra consortium.
Meanwhile, the west package covers Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and North Maluku with around 2,700 km of fiber optic cable. Pandawa V consortium – comprising state-owned LEN Industri, Teknologi Riset Global Investama, Sufia Technologies, Bina Nusantara Perkasa and Multi Kontrol Nusantara – secured the package.
The project expands the Palapa Ring I network, which was completed in 2009. The Palapa Ring I project was carried out by Telkom alone after peers Indosat, XL Axiata, Bakrie Telecom and information technology firms Macca System Infocom, Infokom Elektrindo and Powertek Utama Internusa resigned from the consortium.