Indonesia has committed to the “uninterrupted supply” of its coal to the Philippines, specifically in cases of supply constraints, as demand steadily recovers, the Department of Energy (DOE) said last week.
Following his agency’s meeting with other members of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asean Growth Area (BIMP-Eaga), Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla explained to reporters that the neighboring country would make sure that the Philippines “continues to have access to regular coal supply.”
“As you know, almost 80 percent of our coal supply for our coal-fired power plants and for nonpower uses is sourced abroad. It’s imported,” Lotilla said, adding that 98 percent of imported coal came from Indonesia.
In August, the DOE met with the BIMP-Eaga country members for the 41st Asean ministers on energy meeting on sustainable energy security and interconnectivity.
Coal importation from Indonesia was among the key discussions, Lotilla said, as the Philippines remained largely dependent on this fossil fuel for power.
While the national government aims to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix from the current 22 percent to 35 percent by 2030 and 50 percent by 2040, Lotilla himself had previously admitted that the Philippines could not immediately retire its coal plants.
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Indonesia’s commitment came after its supply for domestic use had stabilized in the aftermath of the pandemic.
In January 2022, Indonesia implemented a monthlong ban on the export of coal, as a state-owned electric company lamented that it was running low on supply for power.
Then Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi appealed to Indonesia to end the moratorium, saying that the policy would be “detrimental to economies that rely on coal-fired power generation systems, like the Philippines.”
The Indonesian government later lifted the ban, after coal exporters complied with their domestic market obligation rules and local demand was met.
“Now they gave an assurance that they will make sure we will have an uninterrupted supply … For a BIMP-Eaga member like the Philippines that is importing coal from Indonesia, we can have arrangements whenever there are [supply] constraints,” Lotilla said.
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