The Netherlands to assist Indonesia in coastal reinforcement and port development

This is a joint press release by the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment and Confederation of Netherlands Industry and Employers VNO-NCW.

The Netherlands and Indonesia are intensifying their cooperation in the areas of water affairs and port development. The Port of Rotterdam Authority will be involved in developing Jakarta’s port. The port, which serves a city of millions, is to be expanded by an area the size of Maasvlakte 2.

In addition, Dutch hydraulic engineering firms will assist Indonesia in reinforcing the coast of Central Java. The coast is being severely eroded, resulting in many residents facing the threat of flooding. The authorities have also discussed the progress of the large-scale project aimed at improving Jakarta’s coastal defences.

50 companies

Various cooperation agreements were made over the past few days by Minister Schultz van Haegen (Infrastructure and the Environment) and companies in the Dutch water sector during Prime Minister Rutte’s trade visit to Indonesia. Delegates from more than 50 companies in the water and maritime sectors, led by VNO-NCW Chair Hans de Boer, accompanied the Prime Minister.


Minister Schultz is pleased about the agreements made.  'For years, the Netherlands and Indonesia have worked together to properly protect the coast of this large country, while at the same time ensuring that the problems of river pollution and the shortage of drinking water are also tackled. During this visit, we have seen that Indonesia is enthusiastic about typically Dutch solutions and is eager to continue along the chosen path. The solutions range from large-scale technical ones to ones like “building with Nature”, in which natural techniques are being used in Central Java to allow the regeneration of mangrove forests that protect the coast. With innovative approaches of this kind we are able to demonstrate our knowledge and know-how. The water sector has once again proven its mettle.’

Investing in the relationship

Hans de Boer, VNO-NCW Chair and commercial leader of the mission is also pleased: ‘For quite some time now, we have been investing in increasingly closer cooperation with the central government in the areas of water affairs and ports. The concrete steps that have now been taken show that this investment has been worthwhile. However, investing in the region is also important because that is where the work is focused. That is why today we visited the Governor of Central Java, a region that is facing many problems regarding coastal defences. I’ve observed that we, as the Netherlands, occupy a strong position but it is only by continuously investing in our relationship with Indonesia and by continuing to return that we will truly gain momentum here. Today, many promising steps have been taken to further strengthen ties between our two countries.’

Port of Rotterdam Authority moves forward

In Jakarta, the Port of Rotterdam Authority will have a role in the construction and operation of the new port expansion which will be based on the Maasvlakte 2 model. The agreement follows on from agreements made early this year in which Indonesia indicated its willingness to intensify the relationship with regard to port development due to Dutch knowledge and know-how.


During the mission, Minister Schultz spoke with various Indonesian ministers about the progress of the large-scale coastal defence project taking place in Jakarta. The extraction of ground water is causing the city to subside at the rate of 15 cm per year (in the Netherlands, the rate is 15 cm per 100 years). If no measures are taken against flooding, in the near future 4 or 5 million people will be in danger in northern Jakarta. The Dutch government and companies are providing advice on the approach. The first measures have already been implemented regarding the cessation of ground-water extraction and strengthening the existing sea wall. In the long term, the plans include the construction of an “outer sea wall” the size of the Afsluitdijk. This will make it possible to store excess water from rivers in reservoirs off the coast. To prevent the water in these reservoirs becoming polluted, the rivers in the city will have to undergo a massive clean-up.

Animation Coastal Reinforcement Jakarta

This is Jakarta.

A dynamic and fast growing city with millions of residents and a problem...


Thanks to economic growth more and more of it is needed. Most of it is pumped up out of the ground.

Every year, pumping causes the land to subside by up to 15 cm.

This represents a direct threat to the 5 million residents of North Jakarta.

To date, a concrete wall has been their only protection from the sea.

Moreover, the subsidence means that river water can no longer flow freely out to the sea.

Today, floods are already a serious problem for the city. If dramatic measures are not taken, part of the city may quite literally go under.  

For several years now, at the request of Indonesia, the Netherlands has been providing input on a solution.

The plans are summarised in the NCICD: National Capital Integrated Coastal Development program.

The program contains the main points that the Indonesian government is already tackling:  

The drinking water supply and sewage system are being further modernised so that ground water is no longer being pumped up from deep underground.

The sea wall is being further strengthened.

And, reservoirs are being considered into which river water could flow. The water in these reservoirs could then be pumped out into the sea.  

However, the city lacks the space for this.  

Therefore, if Jakarta continues to sink, the plan is to build a kind of enclosure dyke off the coast of the city: the Outer Sea wall.

This would allow the water level off the coast to be kept artificially low.

Moreover, it would create a major new east-west link which in turn would offer new opportunities for new economic development.

Preparations for the decision on the Outer Sea Wall are starting now.

In this way we can contribute to keeping Jakarta safe and vibrant!

Other water-related projects

Today, during a visit to Central Java, the focus was on various ongoing water-related projects. In the city of Semarang, a pumping station in the Banger polder was officially opened. This pumping station, which was realised with the assistance of Dutch water authorities, will ensure that 84,000 people keep their feet dry in an area that was frequently flooded in the past. Various participating water companies did good business during the trade mission. For example, the Drenthe-based family firm  Engeldot-Water has been engaged to purify river water in Jakarta so that it can be used as drinking water. The Dutch company will build a plant that can purify 1000 litres of polluted water every second.