Power firms vow enough coal inventory

Danessa Rivera - The Philippine Star
Power firms vow enough coal inventory
Undated stock photo of coal mining operations.
Artyom Korshunov

MANILA, Philippines — Power generators are assuring the public of enough inventory amid Indonesia’s coal export ban, which is seen to have a short-term impact on the Philippines.

In a statement, the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. (PIPPA) said its member generation companies (gencos) are continuously monitoring the developing concern on Indonesia’s coal export ban.

“We believe that this will have a short-term effect on the Philippine coal supply, and we remain optimistic on the lifting of the export ban,” it said.

“We assure the public that our member generators comply with the 30-day inventory levels set by the Department of Energy (DOE),” the group said.

Last month, the Indonesian Directorate-General of Mineral and Coal announced the ban for the entire month of January to avert a looming power crisis in Indonesia.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi made a written appeal to Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif to lift its coal export ban, specifically to the Philippines.

He said the recent policy would be “detrimental to economies that (currently) rely on coal-fired power generation systems like the Philippines.”

Last year, the Philippines sourced 2.3 million metric tons monthly from Indonesia to fuel the country’s coal-fired power plants, which provide 60 percent of the total power demand.

Apart from discussions with the Indonesian government, PIPPA said the Philippine government should also look at other measures to mitigate the impact of the coal export ban.

“We hope that the Philippine government will prioritize parallel discussions with its Indonesian counterparts regarding the issue and explore alternative measures, such as the removal of import tariff for other coal sources,” it said.

For its part, PIPPA said its member gencos intend to continuously serve the country’s electricity demand amid the temporary coal export ban, which the group hopes “will not extend beyond the first quarter.”

“Given that it is our business to produce electricity, it is also in our best interest to continue operations even during the duration of the coal export ban in Indonesia. We remain committed and shall find ways to procure from alternative sources to enable our plants to generate electricity,” the group said.


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