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Juni 17, 2016


reuters: Indonesia could exhaust its economically retrievable coal reserves by 2033, a study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers released on Monday showed.

Indonesia is among the world’s top exporters of thermal coal, but its output has slipped in recent years as plummeting prices of the power station fuel have forced miners to cut costs.

The PwC study is based on information from 25 coal mining companies representing around 80 percent of Indonesia’s output, and looked into the availability of domestic coal for the 35 gigawatts of power stations Indonesia hopes to build by 2019.

Cost cuts by miners have included reducing exploration and stripping ratios – the amount of dirt removed to expose mineable coal, PwC Indonesian advisory chief Mirza Diran told reporters.

Exploration to find new coal reserves has pretty well stopped,” Diran said, adding that these two factors had reduced the lifespan of the country’s coal mines.

Based on government data, Indonesia had around 32.3 billion tonnes of coal reserves in 2014. However, declining stripping ratios and profitability have led to a drop in coal reserves of 30 to 40 percent, Diran said, noting that the survey found coal reserves of between 7.3 billion and 8.3 billion tonnes.

In these circumstances, Indonesia’s coal reserves could be depleted between 2033 and 2036, he said.

“There is a possibility that national coal reserves … will not be enough to supply 20 gigawatts of power stations for 25-35 years,” Diran said, referring to the portion of the 35-gigawatt programme that is expected to be coal-fueled.

Coal miners’ profitability – as reflected in earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) – declined by 60 percent to $2.5 billion in 2014 from $6.5 billion 2011 among the group of miners studied, Diran said.

As a result, in 2015 the companies’ spending had fallen by around 80 percent to $400 million from the $1.9 billion spent in 2012.

“Our survey indicates this decline will continue with a (further) 10 to 20 percent decline in 2016.”

Responding to the findings, the Indonesian Coal Mining Association urged the government to lock in measures to set coal prices based on miners’ costs.

Association chairman Pandu Sjahrir said he hoped such a pricing policy would help stimulate investment in exploration and stabilise the economy, as well as secure coal reserves for the country’s power stations. (Reporting by Agustinus Beo Da Costa; Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Dale Hudson)


TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Pakar LNG Yoga Soeprapto mengatakan cadangan sumber energi Indonesia tidak sebanding dengan jumlah penduduknya. “Indonesia bukan negara yang kaya sumber daya energi,” kata Yoga saat memberi keterangan pers di kantor Kementerian Koordinator Kemaritiman di Jakarta, Selasa, 22 Desember 2015.

Berdasarkan asumsi datanya, ia mengatakan cadangan minyak Indonesia hanya 0,36 persen dari 99,64 persen cadangan dunia, sementara batu bara 0,55 persen dari 99,45 persen cadangan dunia. Sedangkan gas alam hanya 1,53% dari 98,47 persen cadangan dunia. “Cadangan tersebut kalau dibandingkan dengan jumlah penduduk, we are nothing,” katanya.

Ia mengatakan kebijakan energi di Cina dan Indonesia berbeda 180 derajat. “Di sana, mereka tidak pernah mengajari anak-anaknya bahwa Cina kaya sumber energi. Makanya, mereka mau membayar energi dengan sistem mereka, tapi mereka lebih maju,” kata Yoga.

Ia menganggap, dengan cadangan gas alam yang makin sedikit, Indonesia malah merencanakan ekspor. “Kita ini agak lucu, ada bahan baku dan energi dalam negeri, tapi diekspor, lalu impor lagi. Makanya PDB kita rendah. Ekspor gas alam, tapi lalu impor amonia, etanol, petrokimia,” ucap Yoga.

Terkait dengan pengelolaan Lapangan Gas Masela-Abadi, Yoga menyarankan strategi di sana harus ditempatkan dalam konteks yang komprehensif dan terintegrasi. “Harus dilihat lebih luas, tidak hanya persoalan di laut atau di darat, apalagi diambil kebijakannya oleh negara,” tuturnya.

“Ini kesempatan emas untuk mempertahankan energi nasional dan mengembangkannya. Ini harus diletakkan dalam bingkai SDA sebagai pendorong perekonomian nasional dan wilayah,” katanya.


COLUMN-Asia’s coal appetite still defying forecasts for drop: Clyde Russell
Tue, Apr 23 2013

–Clyde Russell is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own.–

By Clyde Russell

LAUNCESTON, Australia, April 23 (Reuters) – Asia’s coal markets are starting to resemble Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett’s absurdist play where the main characters wait in vain for something that doesn’t happen.

In coal’s case, the market is expecting demand, and by extension, prices, to drop amid anticipated slower economic growth in the region and rising electricity generation from alternative sources.

The problem is that so far coal imports by the big three Asian consumers, China, Japan and South Korea, are increasing, defying forecasts for the past several months of an imminent slowdown.

It’s not only that overall coal imports are gaining, it’s also that some suppliers are gaining market share, most oddly Australia, which is one of the highest-cost producers in the region.

China’s coal imports jumped 20.2 percent in March from a year earlier to 20.52 million tonnes, and at 63.796 million tonnes are up 27.3 percent in the first quarter from the same period in 2012.

Japan’s imports were 15.821 million tonnes in March, an annual gain of 5.8 percent and the fiscal year that ended in March saw imports total 106.29 million tonnes, a record high and up 4.5 percent on the prior fiscal year.

South Korea’s imports in March were 9.7 million tonnes, up 1.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, although year-to-date imports were down 3.1 percent, at 28.779 million tonnes.

The overall picture that emerges is that China and Japan, Asia’s top coal importers, are increasing purchases and South Korea, the third-ranked, is holding up well.

The obvious answer to why this is the case is that prices are low, with the regional benchmark Newcastle spot price dropping 2.7 percent to $86.64 a tonne in the seven days to April 19 from a week earlier.

While this up from the three-year low of $80.82 a tonne reached in October last year, it’s also down from the 2013 peak of $96.09 from Feb. 8, and 38 percent below the post-2008 recession high of $136.30 from January 2011.

Lower prices have encouraged buying by China, where imported coal has been cheaper on a delivered basis than much of the domestic supply.

However, this situation may be about to turn, with coal stockpiles at utilities said to be ample and declining domestic prices reducing the competitiveness of cargoes from overseas.

In Japan, utilities boosted coal-fired power use by 3.1 percent in March from a year earlier, while the use of all other fuels declined.

But cheaper crude oil and liquefied natural gas prices may tempt some switching, thereby lowering coal demand.

Nonetheless, the key for coal remains price, and for as long as it remains cheaper than the alternatives, imports may well hold up.

But if price is the key, that doesn’t explain Australia’s ability to increase market share this year in some key markets.

China imported 27.737 million tonnes of coal from the world’s largest exporter in the first quarter, a surge of 74 percent over the same period in 2012.

In contrast,

imports from Indonesia, the biggest shipper of thermal coal used in power plants, gained 18.5 percent in the first quarter.

Part of the Australia gains can be put down to Mongolia’s woes, with imports by China from its landlocked northern neighbour slumping 20.3 percent in the first quarter.

This showed up in the coking coal data, where imports of the fuel used in steel-making from Australia jumped 107 percent in the first quarter and those from Mongolia plunged 35 percent.

This boon for Australian producers may also be coming to an end, with Mongolia’s Tavan Tolgoi mine resuming shipments after suspending deliveries in January, when the state-owned firm said the cost of production was below the price being paid by China.

Another major Mongolian producer, Rio Tinto’s SouthGobi Resources, has also resumed operations after being forced by the government to suspend mining in the face of a takeover bid from China’s state-owned Chalco, which was abandoned last September in the face of political opposition.

The resumption of Mongolian supplies is almost certain to displace Australian coking coal, which was more than double the price in March, according to Chinese customs data.

But Australia also boosted its share of non-coking, bituminous coal to China, which gained 77.8 percent in the March quarter, while imports from Indonesia rose 48.3 percent.

This happened even though China customs data showed that Australian bituminous supplies cost $102.9 a tonne and Indonesian only $78.47 a tonne.

While the Australian coal most likely is of a higher calorific value, it would be logical for Chinese buyers to gravitate toward the cheaper supplies, especially as coal-fired generation comes under pressure from rising hydro output.

This means that Australia, the relative winner in the first quarter in supplying China, may struggle to repeat that performance, even if coal imports do continue to defy expectations and hold up.

But the chances are that if economic momentum, particularly in China, continues to fade, coal imports will ease, with lower prices the only remedy to keeping volumes healthy. (Editing by Clarence Fernandez)


CMS’ coal stockpiles back to 40 days of supply, plant utilization rising

Louisville, Kentucky (Platts)–25Apr2013/423 pm EDT/2023 GMT

CMS Energy’s coal inventories have returned to target levels and its coal-fired power plants are being dispatched more often because rising natural gas prices have made them more competitive, officials said Thursday.

“A year ago, inventory and coal piles were double of what we expected them to be, and obviously that was because of a mild winter [of 2011-12] and a lot of switching from coal to gas going on,” Tom Webb, chief financial officer of Jackson, Michigan-based CMS, the parent company of Consumers Energy, told a first-quarter analysts earnings conference call.

“We’re down from over 60 days of stockpiles a year ago to the 40-day zone, which is where we’d like to be,” he added.

Neither Webb nor CMS president and CEO John Russell indicated if CMS intends to buy more coal anytime soon.

Webb said the company’s coal procurement team “did an outstanding job of working with our suppliers on the rail side and other suppliers to figure out ways to optimize [2012’s bulging inventories] and get better economics for our customers and not take as much coal as we were scheduled to take.”

2012’s scorching Midwest summer also helped “to get us closer to target inventory levels,” he said. “We’re closer to normal and it’s not a worry for us right now.”

CMS owns an about 6,200-MW generation fleet, most of which is coal-fired. In recent years, the company has switched to low-sulfur Western coal at all of its baseload plants.

According to Russell, CMS’ coal plants “begin to be in the money” and are “dispatched ahead of gas” when gas prices range between $2.50/MMBtu and $3/MMBtu. Gas prices are currently “well above that,” he said. The NYMEX May gas futures contract settled Thursday at $4.167/MMBtu.

Russell said the capacity factor for the company’s coal plants has increased to 64% in 2013 from 56% in 2012.

–Bob Matyi,
–Edited by Keiron Greenhalgh,


Miners lead European shares higher on stimulus expectations
12:29pm EDT

By David Brett

LONDON, April 25 (Reuters) – Demand for equities remained robust as Europe’s top shares rose for the fifth straight session on Thursday, supported by central bank stimulus and boosted by results and M&A speculation.

The FTSEurofirst 300 climbed 8.82 points, or 0.7 percent, to 1,200.64, heading back towards five-year highs of 1,207 seen in late March.

Recent weak global economic data including record-high jobless figures from Spain on Thursday has sparked expectations of more stimulus from central banks.

“Overall investors see the potential for new measures and the distortion of global valuations as a reason to hold dogmatically onto their equities,” said Guy Foster, head of portfolio strategy at Brewin Dolphin.

“Shares are seen as a yield asset class with risks skewed to the upside. Bonds have lost their appeal for the opposite reason.”

Low returns on top-rated government bonds are leading central banks to take on more risk in their reserve portfolios, with almost two-thirds more inclined to invest in equities compared with a year ago, a survey showed.

The prospect of more efforts to stimulate the economy helped lift heavily shorted miners, which climbed 2.4 percent, tracking higher commodity prices.

“Commodities are up, shorts had been accumulated in resources, energy and cyclicals and this is reversing, plus one or two companies are beating numbers,” OliveTree Financial Group strategist Simon Maughan said.

Kazakh-focused miner Kazkhmys rallied 4.3 percent after first-quarter copper output rose almost 12 percent year-on-year.

Kazakhmys’ update helped boost troubled part-owner ENRC , which is being formally investigated by Britain’s Serious Fraud Office on allegations of fraud, bribery and corruption.

ENRC, which is the second most-shorted stock on the FTSE 100 according to data from Markit and the subject of a potential bid from a group of key shareholders, rose 3 percent.

The mining sector remains down about 15 percent so far this year as broader concerns over profits, costs and demand from China weigh on the sector.


Dutch staffing firm Randstad rallied 7.8 percent on signs of recovery in Spain and Portugal in recent weeks, and an improvement in other European markets.

Meanwhile persistent bid speculation helped heavyweight British mobile telecoms firm Vodafone add 1.7 percent.

Reports said Verizon Communications has hired advisers to prepare a possible $100 billion bid to take full control of Verizon Wireless from its UK partner.

Fiat climbed 3.8 percent after reports the Italian car maker is getting closer to tightening its grip on Chrysler and listing a merged group in New York.

With equities in demand, financial services firms, which include asset managers such as Aberdeen and Provident Financial, rose 1.7 percent.


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