Raras Cahyafitri, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, March 15 2013, 12:13 PM
State-owned listed coal miner PT Bukit Asam (PTBA) is seeking to acquire stakes in other coal mining sites as part of its expansion plans, despite its large coal concession areas in South Sumatra.
PTBA corporate secretary Joko Pramono said on Thursday that PTBA was currently conducting due diligence studies on several mining areas to be acquired by the company.
“We are in serious talks. We don’t have limitations on calorie content, whether high or low,” Joko said.
The company has diverse coal specifications, ranging from 4,900 kilocalories/kilogram (kcal/kg) air dried based (adb) to 6,400 kcal/kg adb, according to a document posted on its website.
PTBA has mining permits covering 90,832 hectares in Sumatra and Kalimantan. Its coal resources total 7.29 billion tons with mineable reserves of 1.99 billion tons.
The largest site is Tanjung Enim, which occupies 66,414 hectares in South Sumatra. The Tanjung Enim mine also has the largest resources with 6.36 billion tons, and mineable reserves of 1.59 billion tons. Its installed production capacity is 20 million tons per year.
Standard Chartered said in a recent report that the mine’s production lifespan would be 33 years.
“Given its significant resource potential and current production capacity, we believe the Tanjung Enim mine has been under-exploited over the years due to a lack of railway capacity. However, the current brownfield expansions and the two greenfield railway projects should increase production to its true potential,” Standard Chartered said in the report.
PTBA sold 15.3 million tons of coal last year and is targeting to increase its sales volume by 35 percent to 20.6 million tons this year.
The increase is in line with a transportation commitment from state-owned railway company PT Kereta Api Indonesia (PT KAI) to transport 15.6 million tons of coal this year, a 31 percent increase from a year earlier.
PT KAI is working to increase its transportation capacity to 22.7 million tons starting from 2014 by developing an 80-kilometer double track connecting Tanjung Enim and Prabumulih. Forty-four new locomotives will also be put into operation to help meet the target.
Besides the double track project, PTBA, via its subsidiary, PT Bukit Asam Transpacific Railway (BATR), is planning to develop a new coal transportation track connecting Tanjung Enim with Lampung, with total delivery capacity of 25 million tons. BATR’s railroad will transport coal mined in the Banko mining sites by PT Bukit Asam Banko, another subsidiary that is undergoing restructuring.
PTBA has also secured long-term contracts to help it achieve this year’s sales target. The company signed on Thursday an agreement to deliver 51.8 million tons of coal to PT Indonesia Power (PT IP) to supply a coal-fired power plant (PLTU) in Suralaya, Banten, over a 10-year period. According to the contract, PTBA will sell 5 to 6 million tons of coal per year to PT IP.
“The coal price will be determined each year based on discussions with PT IP, while referring to the government’s coal reference price,” Joko said.
Also as part of its expansion plans, PTBA will be increasing the capacity of the Tarahan coal port to 25 million tons by 2014 from the current 13 million tons.
In its shift from being solely a coal miner to an integrated energy company, PTBA is developing and implementing PLTU projects. The company is expected to complete the development of two 8 megawatts (MW) PLTUs near the Tarahan port this year. It has also joined a consortium to develop two 110 MW power plants in Banjarsari, as well as bidding for Sumsel 9 and 10 PLTUs.
The company has set aside Rp 2.2 trillion (US$226.6 million) in capital — primarily from its internal cash, which stood at Rp 5.9 trillion at the end of 2012 — to support the expansion.