Ministry approves additional coal output of 21.9m tons

The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has approved request made by coal miners for additional coal output of 21.9 million tons this year, much lower than the government’s target of 100 million tons of additional output.

Ministry Spokesman Agung Pribadi said on Wednesday that the additional coal production will be entirely dedicated for the export market.

He said that the 21.9 million tons of additional coal output was requested by 32 coal miners including mining firms holding the IUP mining license and PKP2B coal contracts.

He said that the ministry has approved the revised 2018 work and budget plan (RKAB) of the 32 coal miners to include the upward revision in their coal production targets this year.  There’s no more request (for additional output) being processed by the ministry, he said.

Agung said that initially, 40 coal miners made request for additional coal output, but the ministry only processed request made by the 32 coal miners which are considered to be able to fulfill their domestic market obligation. The others are deemed unlikely to be able to meet their DMO quota.

The country’s coal production this year was initially targeted at 485 million tons. With the additional output, the country’s coal production this year is now estimated to reach 506.9 million tons.

The ministry earlier opened opportunity for an additional coal production of up to 100 million tons this year, entirely dedicated for the export market, in a bid to help boost export revenue to help resolve the country’s current account deficit problem.

But some coal miners have said that it would be difficult to quickly revise upward their initial production target this year due to various factors including the lack of available heavy equipment. They also fear that the additional coal output from Indonesia, one of the world’s major thermal coal exporters, would undermine the price of the commodity.

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