Fri, 11 Feb 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Indonesia Mining Community has called on the government to control coal exports to ansure fulfillment of domestic needs.

The Chairman of the Presidium of the Indonesia Mining Community, Herman Afif Kusumo, said here on Thursday that coal must be seen as an energy commodity used to energize economic growth.

"Coal must not be seen as a mere foreign exchange earner," he said.

He said excessive coal production would also cause environmental destructions.

So, coal reserves must be used measurably, controllably and optimally for meeting the domestic needs, he said.

"Coal reserves must be used for a long-term if possible for the next hundred years," he said.

The domestic priority he said is also in line with efforts to improve the national energy resilience namely meeting the needs of power plants.

Herman said he supported the government`s plan to ban low rank coal exports.

The government is just formulating a ministerial decree for increasing the added value of coal and mineral mining commodities.

One of the articles in the decree states a ban on coal exports with a calorie level of below 5,100 kcal/kg adb which is equal to 3,900 kcal/kg as of 2014.

Producers meanwhile are requested to increase the coal content up to 3,900 kcal/kg before it is exported.

Herman said the government had to be alert over the possibility of new producers to use the time before 2014 for signing as many long-term export contracts as possible.

"As of now the government must ban exports of coal below 3,900 kcal/kg," he said.

Besides the low calorie coal, Herman said he had also asked the government to control exports of middle and high rank coals to prioritize conservation.(*)