East Kalimantan

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East Kalimantan
Kalimantan Timur
Derawan Islands
Flag of East Kalimantan
Coat of arms of East Kalimantan
Coat of arms
Motto: Ruhui Rahayu
("Perfect harmony the blessing from God")
Location of  East Kalimantan  (dark red)[Legend]
Location of  East Kalimantan  (dark red)


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Country  Indonesia
Borneo 1945
Kalimantan 14 Aug 1950
Restoration from Dutch occupation 17 Aug 1950
Separation of union with Kalimantan 1 Jan 1957
Capital (and largest city) Lambang Kota Samarinda.jpg Samarinda
 • Governor Awang Faroek Ishak
 • Vice Governor Mukmin Faisyal
Area(excluding the area separated off in 2012 as North Kalimantan)
 • Total 129,066.64 km2 (49,832.91 sq mi)
Population (2014)[1]
 • Total 3,508,012
 • Density 27/km2 (70/sq mi)
  (excluding population separated off in 2012 as North Kalimantan)
 • Official Language(s) Indonesian
 • Recognised Regional Language(s) Kutai Malay, Banjar, Dayak and Buginese
 • Ethnic groups Javanese (29.55%)
Banjar (13.94%)
Bugis (18.26%)
Dayak (9.91%)
Kutai (9.21%)
Toraja (1.16%)
Sundanese (1.59%)
Madurese (1.24%)
Chinese (1.16%)
other (13,18%)[2]
Time zone WITA (UTC+8)
Vehicle registration KT
HDI Increase 0.738 (High)
HDI rank 3rd (2014)
Website www.kaltimprov.go.id

East Kalimantan (Indonesian: About this sound Kalimantan Timur), is a province of Indonesia. Its territory comprises the eastern portion of Borneo. It has a population of about 3.5 million,[1] and its capital is Samarinda.

East Kalimantan has a total area of 129,066.64 square kilometres (49,832.91 sq mi)[3] and is the second least densely populated province in Kalimantan.[4] The majority of the region shares a maritime border to the east with West Sulawesi and North Sulawesi; its coastline faces the Makassar Strait and the Celebes Sea. Its former northernmost region is now North Kalimantan; to its south, East Kalimantan borders the South Kalimantan province. The province bordered Sabah before the split, but still borders Sarawak.

East Kalimantan is now divided into six regencies and three cities. Awang Faroek Ishak is its governor and Mukmin Faisal as its vice governor.[5]


This province is the location of the oldest Hindu kingdom in Indonesia, Kutai, the existence of which is attested to by a stone manuscript, or Prasasti, which is now kept in the National Museum in Jakarta. The manuscript is written in the Pallava alphabet and the Sanskrit language. The replica of this manuscript can be seen in the Governor's Office in Samarinda.

Inscriptions on seven stone pillars (yupa posts) erected in the fifth century BCE on the command of a local ruler, King Mulavarman, records his victories, his generosity to Brahmins, his princely genealogy.[6]

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1971 733,797 —    
1980 1,218,016 +66.0%
1990 1,876,663 +54.1%
1995 2,314,183 +23.3%
2000 2,451,895 +6.0%
2010 3,553,143 +44.9%
2014 3,508,012 −1.3%
Source: Badan Pusat Statistik 2014.
These figures before 2012 include the population of the city and four northerly regencies split off in that year to form the new North Kalimantan Province; subsequent figures exclude them.

Administrative divisions

Until 2012, East Kalimantan was divided into ten regencies (kabupaten) and four cities (kota). On 22 October 2012, the Indonesian House of Representatives agreed to the creation of a new province out of the four most northerly of the Regencies in East Kalimantan, namely Malinau Regency, Nunukan Regency, Tana Tidung Regency and Bulungan Regency, together with one city, Tarakan. Accordingly, these were split off to form the new province of North Kalimantan on 25 October 2012, leaving the following regencies and cities to comprise the reduced East Kalimantan:

Name Area (km2) Population
2010 Census
2014 estimate
Balikpapan City 527.00 557,579 645,866 Balikpapan
Bontang City 406.70 143,683 166,433 Bontang
Samarinda City 783.00 727,500 842,691 Samarinda
Berau Regency 21,240.00 179,079 207,434 Tanjung Redeb
East Kutai Regency 35,747.50 255,637 296,114 Sangatta
Kutai Kartanegara Regency 23,601.91 626,680 725,907 Tenggarong
North Penajam Paser Regency 3,333.06 142,922 165,552 Penajam
Paser Regency 7,730.88 230,316 266,784 Tana Paser
West Kutai Regency 35,696.59 165,091 191,231 Sendawar
Totals[7] 129,066.64 3,028,487 3,508,012 Samarinda


Logging road in East Kalimantan: logged forest on the left, primary forest on the right

Illegal logging has removed much of the original forests of the province. Less than half the original forest remains in places such as the Kayan Mentarang the Kutai national parks.

The projects that supports tropical rainforest conservation includes a WWF project[8] and Samboja Lestari lodge, one of Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation's reforestation and orangutan rehabilitation projects.[9]


East Kalimantan's economy heavily depends on earth resources such as oilfield exploration, natural gas, coal and gold.[citation needed] Balikpapan has an oil refinery plant that was built by Dutch governance before World War II, destroyed during World War II, and rebuilt after Indonesian independence.[citation needed]

Other developing economic sectors include agriculture and tourism.[citation needed]

Obstacles to economic development include a lack of transportation infrastructure.[citation needed] Transportation depends on traditional boats connecting coastal cities and areas along main river, Mahakam River.[citation needed]

In 2012, Russia's state railway firm Joint Stock Company (JSC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the East Kalimantan Governor over railway lines to transport coal and other freight. The first stage will connect an area near Balikpapan port to West Kutai Regency in a 183-kilometer line and is estimated to cost about $1.8 billion. It will commence in 2013 and by 2017 it is hoped that it carry 20 million tons of coal annually. The second phase will connect a line to Murung Raya in Central Kalimantan with a 60 kilometer line, which will cost an estimated $600 million.[10]

Several oil fields have been discovered in the Mahakam River Delta including Attaka, Badak (1971), Semberah, Nilam, Sanga Sanga, Bekapai (1972), Handil (1974), Samboja, Jakin and Sepinggan.[11][12][13] The Handil, Badak and Bekapai fields are anticline structural traps with oil reservoir sandstones between 450 and 2900 m.[11]:399 The delta is in the Kutei basin, bounded by the Mankalihat and Paternoster carbonate arch, containing Eocene shales overlain by Oligocene fluvial deposits during marine regression, culminating in formation of the delta in the late Miocene.[11]:400

Tourist sites

In addition to Derawan Islands, East Kalimantan has a unique natural site, Labuan Cermin Lake at Biduk-biduk district which features fresh water on top with about 2 meters thickness and sea water underneath it. Both fresh water fish and sea water fish live in the lake inhabiting their respective habitat layer. "Cermin" means mirror in Indonesian language and the lake was named so due to the clarity of the water.[14]

North Kalimantan Province

North Kalimantan was formally inaugurated as the 34th province of Indonesia on April 15, 2013. The new province was previously part of East Kalimantan Province and Irianto Lambrie will be acting as the governor of it until a new governor is chosen by their people in an election.[15]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Central Bureau of Statistics: Estimates 2014 (Indonesian)
  2. "BPS -". Kaltim.bps.go.id.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. revised area following the removal of Tarakan city and four regencies to form the new North Kalimantan province in 2012.
  4. Badan Pusat Statistik. "Hasil Sensus Penduduk 2010 Data Agregat Per Provinsi" (PDF). Badan Pusat Statistik.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Organisasi". Kaltimprov.go.id. Retrieved 13 January 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Taylor, Jean Gelman (2003). Indonesia: Peoples and Histories. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 19. ISBN 0-300-10518-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Totals adjusted to take account of the removal of Tarakan City and four regencies, as confirmed by Biro Pusat Statistik.
  8. http://www.panda.org/heart-of-borneo/ WWF Heart of Borneo conservation initiative – orang-utan, rhinoceros and pygmy elephant cling for survival.
  9. http://www.sambojalodge.com/
  10. "Russian firm signs MoU to build $2.4 billion railway". February 8, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Verdier, A.C., Oki, T., and Suardy, A., 1980, Geology of the Handil Field (East Kalimantan-Indonesia), in Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade:1968-1978, AAPG Memoir 30, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN 0-89181-306-3, p. 401
  12. Huffington, R.M., and Helmig, H.M., Discovery and Development of the Badak Field, East Kalimantan, Indonesia,1980, in Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade:1968-1978, AAPG Memoir 30, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN 0-89181-306-3, p. 441
  13. DeMatharel, M., Lehmann, P., Oki, T., Geology of the Bekapai Field, in Giant Oil and Gas Fields of the Decade:1968-1978, AAPG Memoir 30, Halbouty, M.T., editor, Tulsa: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, ISBN 0-89181-306-3, p. 459
  14. http://www.mediaindonesia.com/mediatravelista/index.php/read/2011/06/28/2818/2/Air-Laut-dan-Tawar-Menyatu-di-Danau-Labuan-Cermin
  15. "Provinsi Kalimantan Utara Diresmikan 15 April". March 22, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>