Indonesia’s demand for thermal coal is expected to double by 2022 to help meet its annual growth in electricity demand of around 8.4 percent, the state-run power group Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) has said.

Electricity demand growth in Indonesia has outpaced the rise in generating capacity, leading to frequent blackouts in cities and many rural areas.

The Indonesian Government and the PLN are racing to build new power plants in a bid to supplement 60 gigawatts to the total generating capacity.

According to PLN Coal Business Director Helmi Najamuddin, Indonesia is the world’s top exporter of thermal coal, but demand for the product at home is seen climbing to 82.89 million tonnes this year, up more than 13 percent against last year.

Thermal coal consumption will reach 93.77 million tonnes by 2015 and 151 million tonnes by 2022.

By 2022, 66 percent of domestic coal consumption will be used for electricity generation, up from around 52 percent now. The country’s electricity demand will rise to 207 terawatt-hours (TWh) this year, up from 189 TWh last year, the PLN said.-VNA