Philippines calls on Indonesia to lift coal export ban hinh anh 1Coal is unloaded from a barge at the Suralaya coal power plant in Cilegon, Banten (Photo: AFP)

Jakarta (VNA) – Philippine Secretary of Energy Alfonso Cusi has appealed to Indonesia to lift its coal export ban, saying the policy will be detrimental to economies heavily reliant on the fuel for power generation, Reuters reported.

Indonesia, the world's biggest thermal coal exporter, suspended shipments on January 1 after its state power utility PLN reported dangerously low inventory levels of the fuel at its domestic power stations.

Cusi made the appeal in a letter sent via the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs to Indonesian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arifin Tasrif.

He had asked the Department of Foreign Affairs to intercede and appeal on behalf of the Philippines through the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) cooperation mechanism.

The Philippines, which is still heavily dependent on coal for power generation, buys most of its requirements from Indonesia, and some supplies from Australia and Vietnam.

Nearly 70 percent of the 42.5 million tonnes of Philippine coal supply in 2020 was imported, according to government data.

Power generated by coal comprises about 60 percent of the country's power mix, and in 2021 the Philippines sourced 2.3 million tonnes per month from Indonesia to fuel its power plants, the Department of Energy said./.