Indonesia, the world’s top exporter of thermal coal, has no intention of imposing export duties on the power plant fuel, the energy minister said on Thursday, after officials had said this week curbs were being planned.
At a coal conference earlier this week, officials from the same ministry said they were looking to impose controls on the industry to safeguard domestic supplies, and that an export tax for coal was under consideration.
“We have never discussed that,” Energy and Minerals minister Jero Wacik told reporters in Jakarta. “I have to confirm to all coal companies that there is no plan to impose export duties,” he said.
As Indonesia seeks to squeeze more revenues from its vast wealth of minerals, investors have frequently been frustrated by often contradictory announcements coming out of different offices in government departments.
Indonesia’s thermal coal output is expected to reach 390 million tonnes this year, up 5 percent from the previous year, according to an industry forecast.
Indonesia’s coal demand is seen growing 10 percent next year to 63.2 million tonnes and then to about 68 million tonnes by 2014, state utility PLN said this week. It forecasts consumption will surge to 125.7 million tonnes by 2022.
Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has introduced a series of regulations aimed at getting extra state revenue from the mining industry, including limiting foreign ownership and a 20 percent tax on exports of unprocessed minerals.
Policymakers in Indonesia were criticised by the coal industry this week over their recent mining and energy plans.