Indonesia has assured the Philippines of coal supply as soon as it resolves domestic issues after relaxing the export ban.
Indonesia made the assurance following a virtual bilateral meeting between Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Indonesia Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto on January 21, 2022.
The bilateral meeting specifically highlighted the coal export ban recently implemented by the Indonesian government.
Airlangga said his government was addressing the coal supply situation situation and added the Ministry of Agriculture in Indonesia was also open and ready to assist exporters from the Philippines to gain market access.
Lopez said the DTI appreciated the Indonesian government’s gesture for lowering trade barriers, which have facilitated the smooth entry of Filipino products in the Southeast Asian neighbor, especially agriculture, industrial and more halal certified products.
He stressed the Philippine market remains open for Indonesian products while reiterating “that trade and investments are vital to ramp up economic recovery.”
Indonesia is the world’s biggest thermal coal supplier, shipping to 139 companies acorss the globe including the Philippines, Japan and South Korea.
Earlier, the Department of Energy said the coal inventory of power generators meet the 30-day minimum inventory level amid concerns over Indonesia’s coal export ban.
“Initial picture we have, all of them have met the 30-day requirement. Some of them may extend up to 45 or 50 days,” said DOE power bureau director Mario Marasigan.
Indonesia’s coal export ban from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31 caused concerns on the supply of power plants which, if insufficient, could lead to widespread blackout.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi appealed to Indonesia to lift the coal export ban, specifically for the Philippines.
Cusi said Indonesia’s recent policy would be “detrimental to economies that rely on coal-fired power generation systems like the Philippines.”
The Philippines bought 2.3 million metric tons of coal a month from Indonesia last year to fuel the country’s power plants.
“Power generated from coal comprises about 60 percent of the country’s power demand,” Cusi said.