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Indonesia targets coal production of 550M tonnes in 2021

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Heavy equipment owned by PT Berau Coal is used for mining activities at the Binungan mine in East Kalimantan in this file photo. THE JAKARTA POST

Indonesia targets coal production of 550M tonnes in 2021

Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources has set the country’s coal production target at 550 million tonnes for next year, a figure unchanged from this year, due to the raging pandemic.

Energy ministry coal business director Sujatmiko told reporters at the 2020 Coal and Mineral Virtual Expo on December 10 that next year’s target “takes into account economic recovery, following the Covid-19 pandemic, for both the domestic and export market”.

His words reflect many analysts’ sentiment that, even though global coal demand and prices are expected to rebound starting next year, they will be nowhere close to 2019 levels, when the world was largely coronavirus-free.

According to the World Bank’s October commodity outlook report, international coal prices will hover at $57 per tonne between 2020 and 2021, much lower than the average $78.3 per tonne last year. Prices will sink further until 2030.

Sujatmiko added that coal production had reached 513.6 million tonnes as of December 10 this year or 93 per cent of the 2020 target.

The government remains determined to meet this year’s coal production target, despite the lower demand.

The Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) previously said it expected coal demand to really start recovering in the second half of next year, assuming most of the world successfully distributes a Covid-19 vaccine by that time.



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