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UPDATE 2-Indonesian President orders ministers to target drop in raw coal exports

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* Indonesia is the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal

* The government offers incentives to the downstream coal industry

* The roadmap requires an in-depth study -coal group

* The plan could compensate for the slowdown in exports -analyst (adds comment from the association of coal miners, detail)

JAKARTA, Oct.23 (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Friday ordered his cabinet ministers to set a target to reduce exports of unprocessed coal and accelerate plans to develop spinoff industries for fuel processing in the largest economy in Southeast Asia.

Indonesia, the world’s largest exporter of thermal coal, is expected to quickly develop a local industry to modernize, liquefy and gasify its coal, the president said, urging ministers to determine the volume of production that could be used for such processing. .

I want to look for solutions on the slow development of the derivatives industry because we have been exporting raw coal for too long, Jokowi, as the chairman is well known, said on a virtual meeting broadcast.

Indonesia has sought to derive more value from its rich mineral resources ranging from copper to nickel by processing raw materials at home.

Indonesia produced 610 million tonnes of coal last year and targeted 550 million tonnes in 2020. Most of Indonesia’s coal is exported, with the rest mainly used in power generation.

To encourage the sector, governments recently passed a job creation law that offers no royalty payments if companies create more value from coal, while a mining law passed in May guarantees extensions permit if the minors enter the treatment.

The Indonesian Coal Miners Association (ICMA) welcomed the incentives for a downstream industry.

But to push for this acceleration, an in-depth study is needed and ICMA is ready to help the government develop the roadmap, said executive director Hendra Sinadia.

If successful, the plans could make up for weak imports, said Shahim Zubair, director of Fitch Ratings.

However, the success of downstream plans will primarily depend on the economics of the coal-gas projects, Zubair said, noting that some regional projects had not been very profitable.

The government aims to partially replace imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) with coal-based dimethyl ether (DME).

State-controlled coal miner PT Bukit Asam is building a coal gasification plant which is expected to produce 1.4 million tonnes of DME per year from 2025 (edited by Ed Davies and Raju Gopalakrishnan)

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