NUSA DUA, Indonesia, May 7 (Reuters) – Indonesia is targeting annual production of 481 million tonnes of coal this year and next, a mining ministry official said on Monday, as producers of the fuel are struggling to get new heavy equipment and parts. That’s up around 4 percent from the 461 million tonnes Indonesia produced in 2017.
Indonesia’s National Development Planning Board (BAPPENAS) has pushed for coal output to be capped at 400 million tonnes in 2019, but according to coal and minerals director general Bambang Gatot Ariyono that target needs to be “harmonised” with other considerations.
“Otherwise there could be idle capacity or (miners’) coal production could be sub-optimal,” he told reporters on the sidelines of the Coaltrans Asia conference.
Ariyono referred to environmental permits allowing output to reach 609 million tonnes this year and 651 million tonnes in 2019, and feasibility studies presenting other figures.
Amid concerns Indonesia could exhaust existing minable coal reserves of 13 billion tonnes 25 years, the government is considering measures to push miners to carry out exploration work before they can obtain permits to increase output. “It could start next year,” Ariyono said.