Bumi Resources Plans to Boost Japan Coal Sales 17%

PT Bumi Resources, Indonesia ‘s biggest coal producer, plans to increase sales to Japan by 17 percent this year, according to an official at the company.

Shipments may rise to 14 million metric tons in 2012, compared with an estimated 12 million in 2011, Dileep Srivastava, a Jakarta-based director at Bumi said in an e-mailed response to questions today.

Japan has increased thermal electricity generation to replace lost atomic power since the Fukushima nuclear accident in March 2011. The nation’s imports of power-station coal will probably rise 3 percent to 104 million tons in 2012, Daiwa Capital Markets said last month.

“In 2012, our sense is that we should hit 2010 levels if not exceed it,” said Srivastava, who estimated that prices to Japanese customers will be from $110 to $120 a ton. Bumi sold 12.7 million tons of coal to Japan in 2010, accounting for 21 percent of its total exports, according to its annual report.

The company is in talks with Japanese buyers for supply contracts in the fiscal year ending March 2013 and expects to finalize the agreements early in the second quarter of this year, Srivastava said in an interview on Feb. 21.

Biggest Coal Consumer

It has agreed on prices for about 15 million to 16 million tons of coal for this year, he said. The company has committed to contracts for 35 million tons for which the price is either not fixed or is linked to the price of coal at Newcastle, Australia. It plans to sell a total of 75 million tons this year, he said.

China, the world’s biggest coal consumer, surpassed Japan as the largest importer of the commodity for both power generation and steelmaking in 2011. China’s purchases rose 10 percent to 183.2 million tons last year, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs. Japan imported about 175.2 million tons from overseas in 2011, according to data from the Ministry of Finance.

Bumi dropped 3 percent to close at 2,425 rupiah in Jakarta trading today. The stock has risen 10 percent this year, compared with a 2.2 percent gain for the benchmark Jakarta Composite index.

Mine-Mouth Power Plant

Bumi and partners including local company DH Energy won a bid to build a mine-mouth power plant with capacity to generate 600 megawatts of electricity at the site of its PT Pendopo Energi Batubara unit in South Sumatra, Srivastava said.

The group plans to build the power station, estimated to cost $1 billion, and sign a power-purchase agreement with state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara in this quarter, he said. Bumi owns 85 percent share in PT Pendopo Energi, which has potential coal resource of 1.9 billion tons, according to the company in its website. DH Energi owns the rest.

Binarto Bekti Mahardjana, Listrik Negara’s head division of electric power transaction and business, wasn’t available to comment when contacted by phone. A call to Listrik Negara’s Construction Director Nasri Sebayang wasn’t answered.

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