Indonesian Transportation Minister Ignatius Jonan inaugurated the new coal terminal, owned by state-controlled coal miner Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (Bukit Asam), in Tarahan (South Sumatra) on Wednesday (10/06). The Tarahan coal terminal, which required USD $152 million in investment, has now become Indonesia’s largest commercial terminal having the ability to accommodate ships with a maximum capacity of 210,000 dead-weight tonnage (DWT). This maximum capacity of the terminal is scheduled to be enlarged to 240,000 DWT.
The Tarahan coal terminal is the third quayside at the Tarahan port. Previously, the port already had a pier with a maximum capacity of 80,000 DWT and a barge dock with a capacity of 10,000 DWT. As such, Bukit Asam now operates three quaysides at the Tarahan port. Minister Jonan said at the inauguration that with the new port Bukit Asam is able to compete with Australian coal producers while also supporting the Indonesian government’s maritime sovereignty program. The new coal terminal also supports development of the national shipping industry and serves the country’s domestic coal needs. Due to growing power demand and supply, domestic coal consumption is expected to grow from 71 million tons in 2015 to 167 million tons by 2024.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo fosters the ambition to establish a domestic sea toll road in a bid to turn Indonesia into a global maritime force. In this context, Indonesia needs to have at least 12 sea ports of international standard. Before the realization of Bukit Asam’s Tarahan coal terminal, the country only had three major ports of international standard i.e. Tanjung Priok (Jakarta, Java), Tanjung Perak (Surabaya, Java) and the Makassar Port (Sulawesi).