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Indonesia Has Cleared 171 Miners to Resume Coal Exports, More Being Assessed



January 27, 2022 - Indonesia has allowed 171 miners to restart coal exports since a ban was imposed at New Year to secure domestic supply, while the compliance of hundreds more miners is still being assessed, an advisor to the energy minister said on Thursday.

The world's biggest thermal coal exporter shocked global markets by abruptly announcing the month-long suspension due to the failure of local miners to meet quotas for supplies to the domestic market.

A Domestic Market Obligation (DMO) requires them to sell a quarter of their output locally, at a price no higher than $70/t for power generators. There are about 600 mining companies in Indonesia.

The advisor, Irwandy Arif, said the 171 miners had either met the DMO, or had fallen short and had agreed to pay penalties.


"Currently, the DMO must absolutely be met by every coal mining business license holder and is an important requirement for business entities to be able to export," Irwandy told an online seminar.

A new regulation on DMO compliance took effect Jan. 19, requiring monthly reporting and warning of fines, suspensions and scope for license revocation.

At Thursday's seminar, senior ministry official Ridwan Djamaludin said the ban would remain in force until January 31, but did not say what would happen after.

He said Indonesia had recognised the importance of easing it in some cases, after at least eight countries reached out to the government during January requesting the ban be lifted.

"We don't want them feel that doing business with Indonesia is uncertain, so when the ships were ready to leave and they have been paid for, they were prioritised," he said.

"We do try to maintain balance."

The chief of State utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) on Wednesday said February's coal supply had been secured and there would be no repeat of the crisis that came close to causing major power outages.