Coal Market Currently Moving to New Equilibrium: Minister

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  • TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe global coal market is now moving to a new equilibrium, which will make the national coal industry more efficient, a minister stated.

    "The decline in the price of coal over the past few years in essence has boosted the market to the normal level, as what happened in the past was actually an abnormal gain," Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Sudirman Said noted while opening the 21st Coaltrans Asia Annual Meeting on Monday.

    He stated that the coal prices, which have skyrocketed to US$100 per ton, offered huge benefits to various industries. However, a major benefit in a relatively short period of time has led to inappropriate practices among coal businessmen and government officials.

    "These conditions have had bad impacts and harmed the environment as well as have led to corrupt practices in various regions," he remarked.

    Said explained that currently, the low price at US$64 per ton will compel the producers to carry out internal consolidation.

    "This is a good situation to make companies more efficient and law abiding firms and to do everything with scientific approaches," he emphasized.

    Through consolidation, the national coal companies have proved that they are capable of surviving. The national coal production continues to increase even at a time when the price is low.

    "This indicates that the sales are not affected by the low price," the minister noted.

    In 2014, the non-tax state revenues (PNBP) from coal sales reached 81 percent of the total mineral and coal PNBP, which totaled Rp32.3 trillion.

    The minister is optimistic that the consolidation will boost the domestic market for coal in line with the policy to increase the overall capacity of electricity plants by 35 thousand megawatts (MW).

    "About 60 percent of the additional designed capacity will be supplied by coal-fired power plants," he said.

    He hoped that the policy would boost the domestic coal market from 80-90 million tons currently to 250 million tons in 2019.