Jakarta (ANTARA) – The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry has expedited metallurgical coal exploration at 22 locations spread across East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan.
Director General of Mineral and Coal at the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Ridwan Djamaluddin remarked that exploration efforts were being made to benefit the domestic industry, as Indonesia was still importing metallurgical coal from overseas. Djamaluddin said here on Monday,
“So far, Indonesia has imported this type of coal, and we do not have our own mines for the industry,” Djamaluddin stated.
According to the coal development roadmap data for the 2021 realization prognosis, Indonesia imports as much as 7.9 million tons of metallurgical coal.
The ministry expedited explorative measures to find metallurgical coal resources in order to reduce or eliminate the import of these commodities.
“To deal with imports (issue), we will conduct import substitution, and (we) have conducted exploration at 22 locations in East Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, and South Kalimantan,” he elaborated.
According to the Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry's records, metallurgical coal is a high-calorie coal having certain characteristics that produce coke.
Coke is produced by heating metallurgical coal in an oven under airless reduction conditions at very high temperatures. It is porous, hard, and consists only of carbon concentrations.
Coke is one of the main materials required in steel production.
The demand for metallurgical coal to support the steelmaking industry has increased in recent years, as it is largely driven by China and India that have turned metallurgical coal, especially coke, into highly sought-after commodities.
There is a great prospect for state income if Indonesia's high-calorie and very high-calorie thermal coals could be tapped for their metallurgical potential.
Domestic metallurgical coal stock and its utilization in the national smelter industry can also reduce dependence on imports, thereby reducing spending on the state's foreign exchange reserves.