As Southeast Asia embarks on a period of unprecedented economic growth, social progress and cultural development, key infrastructure projects will play an important role in the success of the region. From superhighways and bridges to express rail links and development regions the most dynamic projects will connect people, countries and regions.
Designed to be the world’s longest link at 127.93 km the privately funded Strait of Malacca Crossing (SOMX) will connect peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra across the world’s busiest strait. An ambitious project that will fuel the growth of Southeast Asia and have a lasting global impact, the crossing will provide increased political security and ignite social change across the region
As Malaysia steadily moves towards its goal of achieving developed nation status by the year 2020 it has already come a long way. Capitalising on the hopes and dreams of it’s population, Malaysia has been able to transform its economy from an agriculture and mining base to a competitive high-tech economy, where services and manufacturing now account for 80% of its GDP. Malaysia’s rich natural resources have made it a major exporter of oil, gas, rubber and palm oil; while its position as a leader in Islamic banking has allowed it to become an attractive destination for both trade and investment. Peace and stability are cornerstones of this diverse Southeast Asian nation that is quickly becoming a regional powerhouse.
With over 234 million consumers, Indonesia represents Southeast Asia’s largest potential market. Now fully recovered from the 1998 Asian Financial crisis, Indonesia’s GDP has surpassed $1.1 trillion US dollars with Foreign Direct Investment increasing at 17% in early 2007. Indonesia has recently embarked on a major infrastructure improvement program that will fuel social progress and allow it to capture its tremendous amount of natural resources. As Southeast Asia’s most populous country Indonesia is a rising industrial giant.
The creation of a crossing between the Malaysian peninsula and the Indonesian archipelago will dramatically change the political atmosphere between bordering nations, with Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand undoubtedly seeing an increase in cooperation and civility in matters of governance and security. The cost of combating piracy and maintaining safety along the Strait of Malacca has always been taxing on bordering nations. The Strait of Malacca Crossing will encourage cooperation against piracy and will allow for better monitoring of traffic through the strait. Increased investment at crossing points and along the coastline will lead to greater domestic political stability for bordering nations. As a link between ASEAN nations, the Strait of Malacca Crossing will help kindle an ASEAN spirit that will further unify the region and gear it towards development and progress
In a region that is tied together by thousands of years of history the Strait of Malacca Crossing will bring about a fusion of cultures. Malaysians and Indonesians will come together to exchange information, technology, arts and culture, bringing social progress to both nations. The link between nations will result in a blossoming of industry across the strait where labour specialization will allow for growth on both sides, while reducing the strains of migration. New communities will flourish as workers flock to rapidly expanding neighboring cities that are experiencing an increase in commerce and industry. As the crossing is completed and greater responsibility is taken on by bordering nations, environmental issues surrounding the strait will be addressed. The Strait of Malacca Crossing will realise the dreams of generations and connect two of Southeast Asia’s most dynamic nations.
The economic importance of the Strait of
Malacca as one of the world’s busiest
shipping lanes has long been recognized.
However, a link between Malaysia and
Indonesia across the strait unlocks even
greater potential. The Indonesian island of
Sumatra rich in natural resources will be
connected to the Asian continent; opening
up to new markets and gaining direct access
to the giant Chinese economy. Peninsular
Malaysia with its increasingly service based
industry will benefit from an increase in
tourism, cross border trade, transport
development, and educational investment.
As development takes place on both sides
of the crossing, dangerous migration
across the straits will disappear and both
sides will benefit. Singapore, Thailand,
China and the region as a whole will
benefit from an increase in trade and
commerce as the fertile Indonesian
archipelago is connected to the Asian
The Strait of Malacca Crossing is a regional project with global impact. As a privately funded initiative (PFI) the project will fuel the growth of developing nations without placing an unnecessary burden on governments. The crossing will create an international hub of trade and commerce, connecting peoples and economies while accelerating growth throughout the region. Bridging one of the world’s busiest straits, the crossing will provide increased security and stability in an area critical to global commerce.
The crossing will be located in the narrowest channel of the Strait of Malacca from the northeast coast adjacent to Malacca in Malaysia to the southwest coast of Pulau Rupat in Sumatra, Indonesia. The terrain near the coast of Malacca is mostly plain with flat topography, beaches and developed ground water systems. On the Indonesian side Barisan mountains lie in the west, while low terrains and wetlands are located to the north near Dumai.
The project site is located entirely on the Eurasian plate and there are no known faults nearby. The buried base of rocks underneath the proposed site lie deeply underground on the Sumatra side but have good physical and mechanical properties and will provide sufficient support for a structural foundation. Though there is an unfavorable seismic zone about 100 km away from the project site there has been no record of a strong earthquake, intense plate motion, or fracture in the last ten thousand years. With new technology and sufficient care an earthquake resistant structure will stand for generations.
The design objectives for the bridge include for the crossing to be perfectly functional, economical in construction and graceful in appearance. Since this is a sea bridge project over the strait, people will be able to enjoy both the magnificent bridge from different angles and the beautiful scenery of the sea, island and coastline. The deepwater navigable span of the all bridge concept is located 12 km off Pulau Rupat in Indonesia where the depth of the water is 50~60m, and giant oil tankers with a capacity of more than 300,000 tons can transit the channel. The downstream and upstream waterways are the busiest navigation areas in the Strait of Malacca, with a width of 4.3 km and a distance of about 1.6 km. To satisfy the requirements for navigation and landscape, a suspension bridge and cable-stayed bridge are the most appropriate candidates for the general navigation of the channel.
Bridges crossing upstream and downstream waterways will be constructed off the coast of Malaysia, and an artificial island will be constructed between the deepwater navigation channel and general shipping lanes. From the artificial island an immersed tube will pass below the area of Pulau Rupat in Indonesia. The tunnel concept will allow for a deepwater channel depth of 55m with no height limitation on vessels passing through the deepwater channel.
Holiday Inn Melaka, on the 23rd December 2008
Shangri-la Hotel Kuala Lumpur, on the 18th August 2009
Strait of Malacca Partners Sdn. Bhd.,
Plaza 138, Unit 16-06,
No. 138, Jalan Ampang,
50450 Kuala Lumpur,
For Malaysia and Indonesia to reach their goal of becoming developed nations and for Southeast Asia to capitalize on its tremendous growth, we believe that projects that have a lasting global impact, encourage growth, and ignite social change are essential to the region. The Strait of Malacca Crossing is an infrastructure project that will allow Malaysia, Indonesia and the region as a whole to benefit. As a privately funded initiative the project has the support of a well organised and financially sound group of investors that can complete the crossing with minimal burden on governments. With the continuous rise of trade and commerce in the region and advances in technology, the time for the Strait of Malacca Crossing to become a reality is now.