Mitra Bara Energi
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In 2004, Indonesia’s coal production reached 127 million tons and will be increased to 150 million tons in 2005 (Kompas, 25/2). With such production, in 2004 Indonesia was able to export coal more than 95 million tons and this has changed Indonesia’s position to become the second largest coal exporter in the world, after Australia. The same sequence previously filled by China. With that position, of course comes a sense of pride. However, is precisely that pride based solely on production and export figures? Also in the management of coal minerals, who is the owner of Indonesia’s earth’s stomach wealth?

INTERESTING the question. The reason, compared with China, which produced 1.95 billion tons in 2004, coal exports they only reached 86.63 million tons. The question arises whether coal exports are increasing as an appropriate choice in the management of this energy source?

From the current data, the source of coal as much as 57.8 billion tons. Of that amount only 7 billion tons of which is the reserve (reserves). The largest reserves are only spread in South Sumatra (37 percent), East Kalimantan (35 percent), and South Kalimantan (26 percent). Given the size of the reserves, coal is relatively “long-lived” compared to the current prove reserve of only 6 billion barrels (1 percent of the world’s reserves). That amount is only sufficient for the supply of 16 years ahead, assuming an average production rate of one million barrels per day and no new reserves.

Looking at the growth of coal production from year to year, estimated production in 2005 about 150 million tons. This volume will continue to increase by more than 200 million tons by 2010. In contrast, the speed of domestic coal demand is not as fast as its production level. The need for 2010 is only 40 million-45 million tons per year, it also covers the overall needs for power plants (coal-fired power plants), the need for cement plants, and other industries.

ACCORDING with the above title, it is clear that coal before it is mined is controlled by the state, after the state mined is used for the greatest prosperity of the people (Article 33 of the 1945 Constitution). It is clear that exploration and exploitation is not a matter of freedom by concession-owner companies, but also the responsibility of the government in relation to the management of coal energy resources. Moreover, coal is the only mineral with elements of carbon other than petroleum. Thus, the management of coal becomes strategic and important in the future.

With the issuance of the new Law on Mineral and Coal Mining, it is expected to attract coal mining investors who, since 1998, have despaired. The new law that will be the successor of Law Number 11 Year 1967 is expected to beautify the mining area in Indonesia so as to stimulate investors to invest in this sector.

However, we still have to remember the simple proposition that the more we waste our energy out, the more we lose. In contrast, some of the investors that come are from countries that apply the reserves of energy resources to meet the needs of their next generation.

Therefore, in the new law should be affirmed that coal is not just a mere commodity. However, these coal mining goods should be better understood and positioned as strategic energy resources. Such an attitude should form the basis of policies relating to coal management.

With this emphasis, it is too simple to compare the pride of high exports and the amount of foreign exchange earned by the state from these strategic commodities. Pride should be more than that. Therefore, the strategic value of coal should we calculate from how much energy value can be utilized in the next 50 years, or even more.

Comparing how China with coal production in 2004 amounted to 1.95 billion tons exported only 86.63 million tons. The country with 1.2 billion people is forced to import 18.36 million tons of coal. In 2003 with production of 1.61 billion tons, its exports amounted to 93.85 million tons, with imports of 10.29 million tons.

Interestingly, with an increase of 340 million tons, China is able to reduce its exports and increase domestic coal consumption. However, the availability of electrical energy (coal-fired power plant) is able to lift China to achieve economic growth of 9.6 percent per year so as to provide wider economic impact for the progress of the industry.

Seeing such a vast problem in the coal sector, the government must continue to look at the problems that exist in the management of the mining sector


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