Indonesia’s mining giants race to adapt as investors cool on coal – by ERWIDA MAULIA (Nikkei Asia – February 22, 2021)

JAKARTA — Indonesia’s mining giants are piling into coal gasification projects as the country’s biggest export markets and global investors move toward a carbon-neutral future.

Coal gasification can be used to create a range of fuel products with lower emissions, an important consideration for investors increasingly concerned about environmental, social and corporate governance, or ESG, issues.

The moves also dovetail with the Indonesian government’s push to develop the downstream industry, rather than simply exporting raw natural resources.

The Southeast Asian country is the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, shipping out 455 million tons, or 31.7% of the world’s exports, in 2019, according to International Energy Agency.

State-owned Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam, known as PTBA, announced in December its partnership with state oil and gas company Pertamina and U.S. chemical industry company Air Products on a $2.1 billion project to convert coal into dimethyl ether (DME).

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