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Jakarta Post

Analysis: Coal policy risk: Higher royalties for IUP holders

  • Arandi Nugraha

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, February 26, 2015   /  06:16 am
Analysis: Coal policy risk: Higher royalties for IUP holders

The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry plans to raise coal royalties charged to mining operation permit (IUP) holders by the end of the first quarter. According to ministry data, coal accounts for about 80 percent of Indonesia'€™s mining revenue and about 25 percent of Indonesian coal companies are IUP license holders.

The move is intended to help meet the revised 2015 state budget'€™s non-tax mineral revenue target of Rp 31.7 trillion (US$2.46 billion), up 28.9 percent from the earlier budget due to a reduced oil and gas non-tax revenue target (exhibit 2). The revised budget includes a sharp fall of 63.7 percent in oil and gas non-tax revenue, amounting to Rp 81.4 trillion, due to reductions in the oil price assumption ($60 per barrel) and oil-lifting target of 825,000 barrels per day.

The administration of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono planned to raise royalty payments, but the implementation was delayed due to weakening coal prices. The Indonesia Coal Producer Association had proposed that the increase be postponed as it felt royalty hikes would hurt coal miners and might not yield optimum state income in the weak coal environment, proposing instead that the government focus on reducing illegal coal mining.

The association had proposed raising royalties at a coal price of $100 per metric ton, and the Finance Ministry had countered with an $80 per metric ton proposed threshold. However, the upcoming increase is not price-dependent. The royalties will be assessed ad valorem based on coal type (exhibit 1).

The coal price has risen 11 percent in the year-to-date but is down 9.8 percent year-on-year, to $69.2 per metric ton as of Feb. 18. The recent coal price increase is due to Glencore'€™s (not rated) plan to cut coal output by 50 percent in its South Africa operations. Glencore is the largest exporter of seaborne thermal coal.

In addition, the latest US Energy Information Administration (EIA) report indicates that US coal production is down 10 percent week-on-week to 18.1 million metric tons as of Feb. 12. That said, China'€™s plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions by 30-50 percent could lead to continued weak coal prices. In 2014, only eight of the 74 cities monitored by China'€™s Environmental Protection Ministry met national pollution standards.

We have conducted a sensitivity analysis on the effects of the royalty increase on our coverage group. We believe PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (PTBA) will suffer the most, as all of its mines hold IUPs. PT Indo Tambangraya Megah (ITMG) should be the second-hardest hit, as its Kitadin mine holds an IUP.

PT Adaro Energy (ADRO) has only one IUP site, Balangan, of which conservatively, its coal production should reach 1 million metric tons in 2015, as the site is still being developed. On PT Harum Energy (HRUM), the company suspended production early in 2015 at its IUP site, Tambang Batubara Harum, due to the lower benchmark coal price.

Thus, at this stage, we reiterate our sector call on coal.

The writer is a research analyst in Bahana Securities'€™ researchdepartment.

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