Bengkulu Dreams to become the Largest Gate of Coal Exports, Bengkulu – Bengkulu Province as one of the areas that has the best coal energy content in Indonesia, strives to increase production. Great potential that has not been explored to the maximum is expected to boost the economy of this region.

The main constraint of coal production owned by almost all districts in Bengkulu Province, is the transportation from the mine to the port as an export gateway. Heavy vehicles that pass through continue to be the spotlight of many parties because it requires a large maintenance costs.

With the commencement of the construction of the railway from the areas of coal production to the Port of Samudra, Baai Island, will certainly have an impact on the smoothness of transportation from the mine to the harbor.

Currently, Pulau Baai Port is only able to deliver less than 10 million tons of coal alone to export destination countries every year. This railway access will also carry coal from South Sumatra Province, for export.

PT Pelabuhan Indonesia II Branch Bengkulu as port operator of Pulau Baai also make improvements as a carrying capacity to pursue export target of 50 million tons of coal per year proclaimed by Bengkulu Provincial Government. One of them is by expanding the dry bulk terminal and the stockpile of coal before the shipment.

General Manager of PT Pelindo II Bengkulu, Drajat Sulistyo, said he is optimistic to reach the target of exporting 50 million tons of coal per year if all parties synergize and support each other. Moreover, when the railway is already operating and start transporting coal from outside Bengkulu to the Port of Baai Island.

“The dry bulk terminal and rail operations will coincide, meaning that from the end of 2018 the export target of 50 million tons of coal can be implemented,” said Drajat, in Bengkulu, Saturday, October 7, 2017.

Currently, an increase in new port activity is evident from the container sector. At the end of 2016, container traffic at Pulau Baai Port only recorded 70 thousand containers per year.

A very sharp increase in numbers occurred until the third quarter of this year which reached the number of 200 thousand containers. That means, an increase in the number of container traffic reaches 300 percent.

Meanwhile the flow of other goods using the services of Pulau Baai Port, in the first half of 2017 reached 1.3 million tons. When compared with the same semester of 2016 that only recorded at 925 thousand tons, the increase in activity is also very clearly visible.

This increase is supported by the traffic flow of retail sector goods and vehicles using sea transport services.

Chairman of the Coal Producers Association of Bengkulu Province, Bebi Husi revealed, so far the main constraints related to coal transportation from the mine site to the port often triggered a conflict between the company and the public road users.

Because, Bengkulu has no special road for coal. If the train is already operating, it is still hoping the government will also approve the construction of a special coal road as an alternative.

“At least from the mine site to the initial stockpile area before transported by train, coal has its own access road, not necessarily until the harbor,” Bebi concluded.

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