Philippine Energy Minister Alfonso Cusi on Monday (10/1) appealed to Indonesia to lift its coal export ban, saying the policy would hurt an economy that relies heavily on fuel for power generation, the Manila Energy Department said.
Indonesia, the world’s biggest thermal coal exporter, suspended exports on January 1 after PLN reported very low fuel inventories to run its domestic power plants.
Reuters reported the Philippines’ move following similar requests from other Asian governments, such as Japan and South Korea.
The Philippine Department of Energy said in a written statement that Cusi conveyed the appeal in a letter sent through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif.
The ban pushed coal prices in China and Australia up last week, while a number of vessels slated to carry coal to major buyers, such as Japan, China, South Korea and India, in Kalimantan were in a state of uncertainty.
Senator Win Gatchalian, who heads the Senate energy committee, has asked the Department of Energy to prepare emergency measures because of the export ban, including finding other potential suppliers. [ah/rs[