Coal stock of power generators meet the 30-day minimum inventory level, the Department of Energy said Thursday amid concerns over Indonesia’s coal export ban.
“Initial picture we have, all of them have met the 30-day requirement. Some of them may extend up to 45 or 50 days,” DOE director for power bureau Mario Marasigan said.
Indonesia’s coal export ban from Jan. 1 to Jan. 31 causeD concerns on supply of coal for power plants which, if insufficient, could lead to widespread blackout.
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi appealed to Indonesia to lift the coal export ban, specifically for the Philippines.
Cusi said Indonesia’s recent policy would be “detrimental to economies that rely on coal-fired power generation systems like the Philippines.”
The Philippines bought 2.3 million metric tons of coal a month from Indonesia last year to fuel the country’s power plants.
“Power generated from coal comprises about 60 percent of the country’s power demand,” Cusi said.
Marasigan said the DOE met with the power industry stakeholders and required them to submit reports and requirements on inventory.
“The problem is what will happen to the expected schedue of deliveries. So that is one of the challenges. We have yet to receive all reports… Our actions will depend on their submissions,” Marasigan said.
He said DOE also considered other concerns that should be addressed by other agencies.
“For example, once the export ban of Indonesia eases, the deliveries will pile up. Are our ports ready?” Marasigan said, adding they would need more information such as where the deliveries would be made.
“We need a complete picture, so that coordination with other agencies will be complete,” he said.
He said some power firms were awaiting shipments of coal that were fully paid for and ready for hauling,, but the transport was stopped.
Members of the Philippine Independent Power Producers Association Inc. expressed optimism about the lifting of the export ban.
“We believe that this will have a short-term effect on the Philippine coal supply and we remain optimistic on the lifting of the export ban,” PIPPA said.