Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Indonesia suspended coal exports on January 1 amid shortages at domestic power plants.

The Philippines’s energy secretary, Alfonso Cusi, has called on Indonesia to lift its coal export ban, saying the policy would be detrimental to economies that are heavily dependent on fuel for power generation, Manila’s Department of Energy said Monday.

Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal exports suspended on January 1 after its state power supplier reported dangerously low stock levels of the fuel at its domestic power stations.

The Philippines’ move follows similar requests from other Asian governments such as Japan and South Korea.

Cusi appealed in a letter sent via the Foreign Ministry to Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif, the energy department said in a news release, without specifying when the letter was sent .

Cusi has asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to intervene and appeal on behalf of the Philippines through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cooperation mechanism.

The ban raised coal prices in China and Australia higher last week, while numerous vessels planned to transport coal to major buyers such as Japan, China, South Korea and India were in limbo outside Kalimantan, home to Indonesia’s mainstay. coal ports.

Contingency measures

The Philippines, which is still heavily dependent on coal for power generation, buys most of its requirements from Indonesia, and some, more expensive, supplies from Australia and Vietnam.

Nearly 70 percent of the 42.5 million tons of Philippine coal stocks in 2020 were imported, according to government data.

Coal-generated power accounts for about 60 percent of the country’s power mix, and by 2021 the country has sourced 2.3 million tonnes a month from Indonesia to fuel its power plants, the energy department said.

Senator Win Gatchalian, who heads the Senate’s energy committee, called on the Department of Energy to prepare for contingency measures due to the export ban, including looking for other potential suppliers.

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