JAKARTA, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Indonesia, the world’s top thermal coal exporter, is expected to consume 16 percent more coal this year than in 2016 amid increasing demand from domestic power stations, the country’s leading coal industry association said on Tuesday.
Domestic coal consumption is expected to increase to 109 million tonnes in 2017 from 94 million tonnes in 2016, said Pandu Sjahrir, chairman of the Indonesian Coal Mining Association.
“It’s picked up considerably,” Sjahrir told Reuters in a telephone interview. Sjahrir said the increase in domestic coal consumption was mostly driven by demand growth from state electricity utility Perusahaan Listrik Negara.
Exports are expected to climb to 370 million tonnes from 365 million tonnes in 2016, he said, estimating overall output this year at 479 million tonnes compared with 459 million tonnes last year.
Sjahrir said Indonesia’s coal industry has benefited from higher prices this year after a downturn in 2015 and 2016 put many small producers out of business. (Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)