Philippines coal imports continue to rise

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines continues to rely heavily on coal imports as it has consumed more imported coal than it produced last year, according to  the Department of Energy (DOE).

Government data showed the country used 33.12 million metric tons (MT) of coal last year. Of the total consumption, 26.98 million MT were from imports, while 5.03 million MT were from local production.

In terms of usage, the power sector was the biggest coal user with 28.65 million metric tons, followed by the cement industry with 2.75 million MT.

Other industries used up 1.71 million MT, with metals and coke and refinery taking up half for the sector’s consumption at 472,642.82 MT and 460,702.29 MT, respectively.

The country also produced 15.27 million MT of coal—majority of which came from the coal mines of Semirara Mining and Power Corp.

For the country’s coal imports, the country imported a total of 27.69 million MT last year.

Indonesia was our largest source of coal imports at 90.2 percent or 24.98 million MT, and these were mostly used in the power sector.

South Africa was our second largest import source with 1.33 million MT or 4.79 percent of the total. Other sources included Australia at 2.57 percent, Peru at 1.08 percent, Vietnam at 0.66 percent, Russia at 0.58 percent, Malaysia at 0.12 percent, China and Korea accounting for the balance.

While coal production reached 15.27 million MT, 10.24 million MT were exported to other countries, while the rest were consumed locally.

China was the country’s biggest customer for coal with 9.89 million MT as it imported every month last year.

Thailand, with 228,555.6 MT exports, only bought coal in four months. India and Taiwan, on the other hand, exported coal from the country for only one month last year at 54,550 MT and 69,501.47 MT, respectively.

Environmental groups have been calling on the government and the private sector to stop the usage of coal, especially in the power sector as they push for a transition to clean energy.

So far, Ayala Corp. has charted its plan to divest from coal investments by 2030, which was viewed as a sound business strategy to trigger a major shift in the country’s energy mix.


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