COAL, THE ALTERNATIVE ENERGY
Prediction says that Indonesia, now being one of the oil exporting
countries, will begin importing oil in the year 2004 as a direct consequence of
the increasing domestic demand due to the growing manufacturing
In fact, now more than ever, industry in the country is searching for
alternative fuel. Industries whose production costs include high energy
components are now switching from oil to more economical coal. Industries
such a pulp and paper, cement, textiles and food producers are now
discovering the enormous savings that can be achieved by switching their
energy source from oil to coal. Any factory using a boiler to produce steam
that is presently running on industrial diesel oil (IDO) can reduce its fuel bills
by more than 50% by installing coal fired boiler.
It seems that the switch to coal is now inevitable as companies are
trying to reduce their costs of production and as the price of oil continues to
increase. Thus, the economic reasons to switch are obvious. With the
availability of deposit and daily deliveries of coal as well as its technology,
the choice to switch to coal is no longer an option but a necessity.
A series of experiments has been and is being done by the Mineral
Technology Research and Development Centre to develop coal energy,
particularly for the households and small-scale industries. Briquettes are now
being introduced as household energy source.
Indonesia has an estimated 36,344.7 million tons coal reserves (the
third largest in the world) scattering in the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan,
Java, Sulawesi and Irian Jaya.
BUKIT ASAM COAL MINING
Bukit Asam is a small hill in the area of coal mining in the village of
Tanjung Enim, the District of Muara Enim, the Province of South Sumatra.
PT. Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (PTBA) was founded on March 2, 1980
as a state-owned company. To further improve the productivity and
efficiency, the Government issued the Decree to merge the public company
Tambang Batubara into PTBA, whereas PTBA itself previously was a
production unit of Tambang Batubara. With the above merger as of 31st
October 1990 PTBA has become the only state-owned company to process
coal in Indonesia.
PTBA has two mining units, namely Tanjung Enim Mining Unit in
South Sumatra and Ombilin unit in West Sumatra.
PTBA Tanjung Enim Mining Unit (UPT) in South Sumatra is divided
into two areas of mining, namely Air Laya Mining and Non Air Laya
Mining. Air Laya Mining (TAL) uses a continuous surface mining method
with modern equipment. This operation can be controlled and handled from
the Main Control Centre (MCC) by computerized system. The main heavy
equipment is Bucket Wheel Excavate (BWE) to shovel coal and soil from the
area, and conveyed to the Conveyor Dumping Point (CDP) to be divided,
then the soil is sent to the waste dump spreaders while the coal is sent to the
stockpile through belt conveyors. Non Air Laya Mining (NAL) utilizes a
conventional method by using truck and shovel.
PTBA Ombilin Mining Unit is located in the municipality of
Sawahlunto, the Province of West Sumatra which operates two minings an
underground shaft mine and open mine. The underground mine uses long
wall retreating system with semi-mechanized equipment operated manually
and long wall fully mechanized equipment operated hydraulically, both are
complemented with a continuously-operated coal shearer. The open mine
uses the back filling system by truck and loader. The Ombilin mining
supplies washing process to eliminate mud and dirt.
Besides, in line with the Government Decision No. 49 of 1981, the
Indonesian Government has conducted joint operations with 11 private
local/foreign contractors, namely:
West Sumatra Region
- PT. Allied Indo Coal, which started producing in 1987
- PT. Arutmin Indonesia, which started producing in 1990
- PT. Adaro Indonesia, which started producing in 1992, while PT. Chung
Hua OMD is still conducting Evaluation of Feasibility Study.
East kalimantan Region
- PT. Kaltim Prima Coal, which started producing in 1990 and is under
- PT. Utha Indonesia, which is still under construction;
- PT. Kideco jaya Agung, which started producing in 1992;
- PT. Berau Coal, which is still under construction and production
- PT. Multi Harapan Utama, which started producing in 1988;
- PT. Tanito Harum, which started producing in 1988;
- PT. Indominco Mandiri, which is still conducting exploration.
Besides, on August 15, 1994 PTBA signed joint operations with 19
new coal contractors based on Presidential Decree No. 21/1993.
Coal Production and Marketing
The Indonesianís coal deposit is 36,344.7 million tons. The
production of coal in Indonesia has continuously increased from year to year
which was shown at the end of Repelita V (1993) by 27.2 million tons
compared to 8.7 million tons at the end of Repelita IV (1989). A number of
18.7 million tons was produced by joint operation contract, 7.4 million tons
by PTBA and around 2 million tons by private operation. At the end of
Repelita VI (1989) Indonesia is projected to produce 55.40 million tons by
joint operation and 14.87 million tons by PTBA.
The Indonesianís coal production is used to meet domestic need and
for export. In 1993/94 the coal used by domestic consumers was 8.5 million
tons. They were used to support the steam-powered electric plant (PLTU)
Suralaya I until VII PLTU Bukit Asam 1 until 4, PT Semen Padang, PT.
Semen Gresik, PT. Semen Cibinong, PT. PUSRI, small industries, and
household needs in the form of briquettes.
To meet the need of briquettes for households PTBA has developed
new machine for producing briquettes. The machine was designed by the
staff of PTBA themselves. By operating this machine it is planned to
increase its production from 10 tons to 80 tons per day, which will be
launched in December 1994.
In 1993/94, Indonesia exported 19 million tons of coal to Malaysia,
Singapore, Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and Bangladesh.
Coal from Tanjung Enim Unit is transported by freight trains to special
coal ports of Kertapati (Palembang) and Tarahan (Bandar Lampung), while
coal from Ombilin Mining Unit is transported by freight trains and trucks to
special coal port of Teluk Bayur (Padang).
After coal mining operation finished, the soil removed from the mining
area will be returned and regreened. The program of back filling and
regreening the areas which has been mined is financed by PTBA. PTBA
always pays a great attention to the environment, therefore, in 1992 this
company got the Sahwali Award from the union of International NGO in the
field of environment conservation which was given by the Dutch Minister of
Back to Top