Indonesia May Reopen Coal Exports on Monday or Tuesday

Indonesia’s senior minister said that the country may lift its coal export ban amid calls from Asian countries that rely on Indonesian coal.

Luhut Pandjaitan, Indonesia’s coordinating minister of maritime affairs and investment, told CNBC in an interview on Monday that by “end of today or tomorrow we can release some of the big vessels.”

Luhut said that the government is working on a new pricing structure for the “domestic market obligation” that requires mining firms to turn over a fixed percentage of their output to the government, so PLN buys coal at market price.

The world’s biggest thermal coal exporter suspended coal exports on Jan. 1 after the state utility firm PLN reported dangerously low levels of inventory which could cause widespread power outages across the country.

The Philippines’ energy secretary Alfonso Cusi had appealed to Indonesia last week to lift the export ban to avoid rattling economies that are heavily reliant on Southeast Asia’s biggest economy for coal supply.

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