STATE-OWNED coal miner PT Bukit Asam aims to increase production by 30% in 2017 to 27.3 million tonnes with most destined for the domestic market. This will support the government’s ambition of providing more electricity, which will be largely fulfilled by building coal-fired power stations.

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The Bukit Asam coal terminal at Tarahan Port in South Sumatra.

In a 58%:42% split, around 15.9 million tonnes will be allocated to the local market and 11.4 million tonnes for export. Completion of a double track railway from Prabumulih station to Bukit Asam’s Tanjung Enim mine in South Sumatra will help the company achieve its aim.

The company has also been working with state-controlled train operator Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) to ship more production from Tanjung Enim to Tarahan Port and Kertapati Port in Palembang. In 2016 the amount of Bukit Asam coal transported on KAI trains increased by 12.2% to 17.72 million tonnes and this year, the miner is targeting 21.7 million tonnes with KAI.

The company has also been supporting the government’s power plans by investing in coal-fired power plants in various regions, including facilities in Mulut Tambang Banko Tengah, South Sumatra and East Halmahera, North Maluku.

“We are involved in several tenders with (state-owned electricity firm) PLN for power projects outside Sumatra and Java with a total capacity of 800MW. I believe we can win at least 50% of the tenders,” Bukit Asam finance director Achmad Sudarto said.

The company achieved an operating profit of Rp2.53 trillion in 2016, a growth of 3% compared to Rp2.47 trillion in 2015. The company has optimised its mining system with stripping ratio control (SR), site area transportation distances and mining plan optimisation.

Domestic sales rose 22% to 12.3 million tonnes, compared to 10.1 million the previous year while exports amounted to 8.5 million tonnes, accounting for 41% of the total.

Bukit Asam has proven coal reserves of 3.3 billion tonnes, 2.7 billion of which are in South Sumatra and primarily at Tanjung Enim and Lahat mines.

The company has allocated Rp5 trillion (US$373.83 million) to finance expansion this year.

About 50 to 60% will be used for various development projects, including acquisition of new coal reserves, with 10% for operations and the rest for the infrastructure development.

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