Indonesia to miss 2021 coal output target, minister official says

A barge transporting coal from Indonesia’s East Kalimantan to Japan.(Image from archives.)

Indonesia is likely to miss its coal output target this year, an energy ministry official said on Friday.

Heavy rains are slowing mine and port operations in Indonesia, the world’s biggest exporter of coal used for power generation, mining executives have told Reuters.

Production is expected to be 610 million tonnes in 2021, Sujatmiko, director of coal at the energy ministry who goes by one name, told a virtual conference.

That is 2.4% below the ministry’s target of 625 million tonnes.

“Our (output) realisation is a bit lower, because of the weather at the mines, the rainfall is quite high,” Sujatmiko said.

“We hope that with the smoother operations on the field, by the end of the year, until December 2021 we can reach a production of around 610 million tonnes,” he added.

In January to September, coal production was around 450 million tonnes, 72% of target, Sujatmiko said.

Output was up 8.7% to 456.77 million tonnes from 420.29 million in January-September 2020, ministry data showed.

Global coal prices have soared to record highs this year on a recovery in industrial fuel demand and constrained output in top coal consumer China.

Heavy rains are hampering Indonesia’s hopes for a jump in output and exports to capitalise on the boom.

(By Bernadette Christina Munthe and Fathin Ungku; Editing by Edmund Blair and Jason Neely)

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