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Full steam ahead for PLN

State utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara does plan on signing any new coal procurement contracts until 2014, as expected supply has surpassed consumption for the next two years, a senior official at the firm said on Tuesday.

Helmi Najamuddin, head of the coal division at the firm, said that PLN has secured 69.2 million tons of coal, while annual consumption stands at around 31.9 million tons, excluding power plants under the control of independent power producers (IPP).

“Our current coal procurement contract extends through the next 20 years, or to 2032,” he said.

The three biggest coal suppliers in Indonesia are state-controlled Bukit Asam, Adaro and Kideco Jaya Agung, with 5.7 million tons, 5.5 million tons and 5.1 million tons produced, respectively.

This year, Helmi said PLN planned to open several coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of some 3,000 megawatts, including the 1,050 MW plant at Pelabuhan Ratu, West Java.

Based on the firm’s calculations, generating 1 MW of electricity will consume some 3,096 tons of coal a year. Therefore, PLN’s coal consumption could reach 41.4 million tons for the year.

“For all coal-fired power plants, including those controlled by IPP, coal consumption is expected to reach 57.3 million tons next year,” Helmi said.

He stated that PLN’s coal demand will again surpass supply by 2015. “Based on our working plan, and with the commission of several coal-fired power plants, we estimate that consumption will reach 88.8 million tons by 2015,” he added.

Helmi said PLN was looking to run its own coal mine. “Currently, PLN’s subsidiary, PLN Batubara, is engaging only in the coal trading business, but it will also operate a mine through a joint cooperation scheme [KSO],” he said.

Helmi did not discuss the details of the joint venture.

PLN Batubara currently supplies roughly 2.6 million tons of coal to its parent company.

“God willing, the move will be realized next year,” said Helmi, referring to the joint venture. Though he refused to disclose further details, he said that coal mines located near PLN’s power plants are likely to be the priority in this latest move

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