Exporting InfrastructureBeing Generous with Craftsmanship Skills
September 1, 2017
Social infrastructure is indispensable to living a safe, secure, and comfortable life. If we look around the world, however, we see more than a few countries where such infrastructure is lacking, even in major cities.
A big project by a Shimizu joint venture is underway in Jakarta, the capital city of the Republic of Indonesia, which has the largest population among ASEAN nations.
Shimizu Established Operations in Indonesia More than 40 Years Ago
Shimizu has operated a construction business in Indonesia for more than 40 years. Our first project was corporate housing for a Japanese firm that had established operations in Indonesia. Since then, we have steadily accumulated an extensive track record that extends from urban infrastructure such as office buildings and foreign-owned hotels to infrastructure that supports the entire economy, such as plants, port facilities, an underground power generation plant, an LNG terminal, soil erosion barriers, an airport, and other projects.
We have undertaken large-scale projects in recent years as well, and are actively expanding business in Indonesia as a location important to global business.
Resolving Traffic Jams with Urban High-speed Rail
One of the big projects that is currently drawing interest is construction of the north-south line of the Jakarta MRT (a mass rapid transit system). Financed by a Japanese government-backed ODA loan for STEP projects that utilize Japanese technology, the project is the key to resolving the chronic traffic jams in Jakarta, which are said to be the worst in the world.
As the majority joint venture partner, Shimizu is responsible for the design and construction of the underground section. The expectations for this project are extremely high―so high that Indonesia President Joko Widodo has visited the site a number of times.
First Subway and First Shield Construction in Indonesia
The reason for the high expectations is the fact that this will be Indonesia’s first subway, and because the shield construction method will be used to build it. The subway construction began in October 2015 and involves the construction of four underground station buildings and using the shield construction method to excavate two sets of 2.6-kilometer-long tunnels for lines in both directions to connect with four stations. The shield construction method is commonly used basic technology in Japan, but this is the first time it has been used in Indonesia.
Passing on the Techniques of Craftsmanship through Passionate Instruction
Shimizu worked on this construction while providing guidance to local engineers and workers who had no experience with the shield construction method. This guidance included everything from assembling the shield machine to the method of operation, and things to pay attention to during operation, and maintenance. Experienced Japanese engineers were assigned as the supervisors for key points at each site for the initial stage of construction. These engineers stayed onsite day and night and provided guidance.
The local engineers gradually gained enough knowledge to ultimately handle most of the construction during the final year of construction. The speed of construction also increased along with this, and the tunnel was completed ahead of schedule without any trouble, in February 2017.
Passing on High-quality Construction Technology
President Joko Widodo gave the opening speech during the tunnel competion ceremony held at Setiabudi Station on February 23, stating “It is a great honor to be able to complete the first shield tunnel in our country and tour the site. Train service for the first phase of the construction will begin in March 2019. I look forward to progress on the project as scheduled.”
hat we passed on will contribute to the improvement of technical capabilities of the Indonesian construction industry, and be demonstrated in various infrastructure construction projects in various regions throughout Indonesia.
The Challenge of Shortening the Construction Period for Astra Tower
Shimizu is working on another big project in the city of Jakarta.
It is Astra Tower, an ultra-high-rise building that will be 261.5 meters high, among the highest in Indonesia, once it is completed.
Astra Tower is being built as the headquarters for Astra International, the largest conglomerate in Indonesia, and Shimizu is taking on the challenge of shortening the construction period by a substantial amount
In Indonesia, the shortage of engineers and workers and delays in procuring supplies and equipment caused by a weak distribution system are a chronic problem. Construction period overruns are therefore a common phenomenon. We are attempting to upend this long-held belief by introducing the project management skills Shimizu is known for.
We succeeded in shortening the construction time to frame completion by six months, by streamlining the method of carrying out excavated soil during foundation construction, unitizing formwork and unitizing steel rebar during standard floor framework construction, and onsite pre-casting for stairs and wall partitions, among other measures. This was shocking because everyone in Jakarta assumed that there would naturally be delays in the construction period. The construction period extends to March 2018, but Shimizu is aiming for completion ahead of time, in September 2017.
Being acclaimed as the construction company that can shorten the construction period is likely to add new value to Shimizu’s business in Indonesia.
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