Fear Of Blackout, Indonesia Bans Coal Exports

Indonesia banned coal exports in January to ensure the supply of electricity to domestic consumers.

According to a foreign news agency, a senior official of the Ministry of Energy, while talking about the ban on coal exports, said that low supply in power plants supplying electricity to domestic consumers could lead to large-scale blackouts.

The Southeast Asian country Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, exporting about 400 million tons of coal in 2020. Its biggest customers are China, India, Japan and South Korea.

Indonesia has a so-called policy that requires coal miners to supply 25% of their annual production to the state utility at 70 70 per tonne, which is far below current market prices.

Rizwan Jamaluddin, director general of minerals and coal in the Ministry of Energy, says that if the export of coal is not banned, about 20 power plants of 10,850 MW will be shut down.

He further said that if strategic steps were not taken in this regard, there could be a massive blackout.

Rizwan said the supply of coal to power plants was less than 25 percent per month, so there was a deficit in coal reserves till the end of the year, which led to the ban.

 He said the ban would be assessed after January 5.

On the other hand, the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (ICMA) demanded that the Minister of Energy lift the ban on exports, saying that the ban was imposed in a hurry without consulting the business community.

The ICMA chairman said the ban on large-scale exports could affect monthly coal production of about 38 to 40 million tonnes.

He added that in recent years, Indonesia had exported about 30 million tonnes of coal in January.