Coal Reserves in North Kalimantan Only 47 Years Old

Kasus Tambang Ilegal, Batubara dan Peralatan Tambang Berujung Disita

The North Kalimantan Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Office recorded proven coal reserves in 2021 of 472.64 million tons.

This figure comes from the Work Plan and Expenditure Budget (RKAB) documents belonging to 30 coal companies in Kaltara.

With an average coal production of around 10 million tons per year, the coal reserves in Kaltara are only 47 years old.

But this is assuming there are no new coal reserves found.

The local government seems to have to seriously think about the fate of North Kalimantan in the coming decades. Especially when coal is no longer reliable.

Given that the black gold commodity dominates regional revenues, export performance, to the current economic structure.

Technically, the signs for finding a substitute for coal have been stated directly by the central government. Where the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources through the master plan of the National Energy General Plan (RUEN), targets no more coal to be exported by 2050.

Reflecting on this grand plan, it is important for local governments to think of substitute export commodities that can be developed and relied upon. Moreover, coal dominates 80 percent of exports from Bumi Continenta.

From a macroeconomic point of view, local governments must anticipate an economic phenomenon called the Dutch Disease in the future. Or the decline in the regional economy due to the high level of dependence on primary natural resources (SDA).

Local governments must be careful in managing the primary economic sector from extractive natural potentials such as coal.

If not, the government must be prepared like one of the regions in Sumatra. Where the economy there plummeted when the tin content ran out and there were no other economic driving sectors.

In terms of governance, it is necessary to have an anticipatory plan when the funding source from the coal Revenue Sharing Fund (DBH) is no longer received.

It is important that there are concrete efforts to create a source of Regional Original Revenue (PAD) to reduce the hundreds of billions that will be lost from coal DBH.

The Head of the Kaltara Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Office, Norman Raga through the Head of the Coal Conservation and Production Section, Zainal Arifin said, the discourse of abandoning coal has indeed become an issue that is often brought up by the central government.

“The central government already has a discourse on gradually reducing (production) of coal. Because going forward, the direction is to produce environmentally friendly green energy, no longer from fossil fuels,” said Zainal in his office, Wednesday (18/1/2023).

The signal to leave coal is contained in Presidential Regulation Number 112 of 2022 concerning the Acceleration of Development of Renewable Energy for the Supply of Electricity.

Through this regulation, President Joko Widodo officially banned the construction of coal-based Steam Power Plants (PLTU).

In addition, the President has asked the relevant ministries to draw up a road map for accelerating the termination. Or provide early retirement for power plants that are still operating now.

“Many PLTU will not extend their recommendations. Because in the future reduce the use of coal. This is a global issue whose direction is towards green energy,” he said.

Nevertheless, his party does not yet know the exact timeframe for carrying out the massive coal reduction.

Especially now that the provincial government’s authority regarding coal has been cut.

“Until what year are the reductions until production and use stop, that’s what I don’t follow anymore now,” he explained.

Separately, the Head of the North Kalimantan Provincial Secretariat’s Economic Bureau, Rohadi said, the Kaltara Provincial Government has prepared a green energy sector to replace the role of coal in the future.

Both as a support for the economic structure to a source of local government revenue.

“Our future orientation is no longer from fossil energy which one day runs out and cannot be renewed. Our orientation is towards green energy,” said Rohadi on the same day.

Implementation of a future economic orientation, one of which is with the Hydroelectric Power Plant (PLTA) project on the Kayan and Mentarang Rivers and the Indonesian Green Industrial Zone (KIHI) in Tanah Kuning.

“I am sure that the results from PLTA and KIHI can exceed coal, both for the economy and regional revenues. Currently, many investors who are green energy oriented come to Kaltara with KIHI,” he explained.

In this regard, the Kaltara Provincial Government is very serious about overseeing the successful realization of the PLTA and KIHI projects. Including preparing Regional Owned Enterprises (BUMD) to take part in it.

“Although the development of PLTA has not yielded results, they continue to progress, that’s why the government continues to help. For KIHI it has been running better, a lot of workers have been absorbed there, it is good enough to provide a multiplier effect,” he concluded.

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