The Coal Ministry has, in principle, agreed to set up a Joint Working Group for coal with Indonesia. This information was given by Minister of State (I/C) for Coal Mr. Sriprakash Jaiswal today in New Delhi following a meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Mr. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources, who is leading a delegation to India.
The meeting discussed the cooperation between the two countries in coal sector and the way forward to strengthen the cooperation. Senior officials from the two countries participated in the meeting.
Interacting with the media, Shri Jaiswal said that there is a great demand for coal in the country as the power sector is largely dependent on the mineral. He said that India imports about 20 million tonnes of coal per year from Indonesia and his ministry is looking at allocation of IUP (Mining Business Licence)/CCOW (Coal Contract of Work) for new coal mining areas on nomination basis, participation in government initiated tender process for grant of IUP/CCOW. There is also a demand for creation of a Joint Venture with government entry for acquisition, exploration and development of coal blocks in that country.
The Indonesian Minister said that he looked forward to the setting up of a Joint Working Group for coal which would meet either in New Delhi or in Jakarta soon to determine the further course of action.
Indonesia is a coal rich country with about 60 billion tonnes of coal resources and produced 140 mt of coal in 2007 and is a main exporter of coal with 118 mt of coal exports in 2007.
India has been considering acquisition of properties in Indonesia for meeting the increasing demand of coal. Indonesia has been chosen as a preferred destination in view of the following:
o Availability of low ash high calorific thermal coal.
o Comparatively lower acquisition cost.
o Coal resources amenable to open cast mining with shallow occurrence.
o Lower freight cost for transportation to India.
o Better coal evacuation facilities from mines to reach ports for export and
o Availability of vendors for undertaking mining operations.