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World biggest coal exporter Indonesia bans its coal exports over domestic worries

JAKARTA: Indonesia has banned coal exports in January due to concerns over low supplies for domestic power plants, local media reported on Saturday, citing a letter sent by the energy ministry.

In a letter cited by local media outlet Kumparan on Saturday, the country’s energy ministry instructed that all coal at harbours should be stored to supply power plants and independent power producers (IPP).

“The export ban will be evaluated and reexamined based on the stock realisation of coal stocks for PLN’s power plants and IPP,” the letter said.

The ministry and PLN did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while the Indonesian Coal Miners Association said it would issue a statement regarding the export ban.

In August 2021, Indonesia suspended coal exports from 34 coal mining companies it said failed to meet domestic market obligations between January and July last year.

World’s biggest thermal coal exporter Indonesia:

The Southeast Asian country is the world’s biggest exporter of thermal coal, exporting around 400 million tonnes in 2020.

Its biggest customers are China, India, Japan and South Korea.

Indonesia has a so-called Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) policy whereby coal miners must supply 25 percent of annual production to state utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN), at a maximum price of $70 per tonne, well below current market prices.

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