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Indonesia eyes thermal coal exports amid Covid-19 pandemic

Indonesia coal exports

Indonesia’s thermal coal exports declined by 8 percent in the first five months of 2020 compared with a year ago

Indonesia’s appetite for diversifying its thermal coal imports is getting stronger amid Covid-19 pandemic as it is plans to foray into Vietnam and other South Asian markets.

Hendra Sinadia, executive director of the Indonesian Coal Miners Association (ICMA), told the media, “In this current condition, we need to secure non-traditional markets for our future growth.”

It is reported that through diplomatic channels, Indonesia is trying to boost thermal coal sales. The country expects to ship the fuel into countries such as Vietnam, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The government of Indonesia has already been in talks with Indonesian miners and Vietnamese buyers to export thermal coal.

According to officials, Indonesia’s thermal coal exports declined by 8 percent in the first five months of 2020 compared with a year ago. In addition, the exports also witnessed a 35 percent drop to India since the Covid-19 crisis.

Furthermore, the period between January and May saw an increase of thermal coal exports to China by 31 percent to 29 million tonnes from the year prior while exports to Vietnam increased by 44 percent to 8.9 million tonnes over that period.

Emerging markets such as India and China are already on the frontline and the global demand for clean energy is increasing. Therefore, for a country like Indonesia to export thermal coal throughout the world is challenging.

It is reported that Vietnam houses of coal-fired power-plant with a capacity of 17 GW. The country will also construct coal-fired plants with a capacity of 29 GW.

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