By Myrna M. Velasco
With the commercial commissioning of new power plants, the country’s consumption of coal fuel last year jumped to 33.121 million metric tons (MT), which is 9.3-percent higher than the 30.836 million MT usage in 2018.
Of the total Philippine coal utilization, 28.654 million MT went to power generation; 2.753 million MT had been channeled to the cement industry; and 1.713 million MT for other industries, to include those on food products, coke and refinery products, chemical and chemical products, sugar, coco vegetable and oil, beverage, feeds, textiles, laundry, paper, metal as well as non-metallic products.
Based on data culled from the Department of Energy (DOE), the coal consumption of the power generation sector had been higher by 2.55 million metric tons last year from 26.101 million MT in 2018.
Cement use was roughly flattish as this hovered at 2.708 million MT in 2018, according to the energy department’s data; while the consumption of other industries had been down from 2.027 million MT in 2018.
Of last year’s coal demand, 26.897 million MT had been imported, which was just slightly up from 26.30 million MT in 2018. Domestically sourced coal had been at 5.029 million MT, according to the DOE.
For the usage of the power sector, coal imports were mainly procured from Australia, Indonesia and Russia; while for the cement industry, these had been sourced from Indonesia and Russia.
The imported coal requirements of other industries had been from China, Indonesia, South Korea, Malaysia, Peru, Russia, South Africa and Vietnam.
On the Philippine coal exports, it had doubled to 10.242 million MT in 2019 from 5.054 million MT the previous year; and the biggest buyer last year was still China which gobbled up 9.890 million MT. The other-countries that purchased Philippine coal had been Taiwan, India and Thailand.
Domestic production of coal also inched up last year to 15.273 million MT from 13.055 million MT in 2018. Bulk of local production was from Semirara Mining and Power Corporation of the Consunji group at 15.189 million MT.
The other coal mines that yielded fraction of the country’s coal output last year were those of Samaju Corporation and Lima Coal Development Corp. in Batan Island in Albay; SKI Energy Resources Inc., Il Rey’c Coal Mining Exploration Corp., BBB Mining & Energy Corp and First Asian Resources & Mining Corp in Southern Cebu; then Forum Cebu Coal Corp., Adlaon Energy Development Corp. and Ibalong Resources Development Corp. in Northern Cebu.
The other domestic coal producers that contributed to last year’s output were Guidance Management Corporation in Negros; Great Wall Mining & Power Corp. and Smart Mining & Resources Dev’t Corp. in Surigao Del Sur; Philippine National Oil Company-Exploration Corporation (PNOC-EC), Filipinas Systems Inc. and A Blackstone Energy Corp. in Zamboang del Sur. State-run PNOC-EC also turned in production from its Isabela coal mine last year.