JAKARTA, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia is likely to begin importing coal in 20 years from now amid the country's heavy dependance on the fossil fuel to generate power, an association has said.
The Indonesian government has set its target to build power plants expected to produce additional 35 gigawatts across the country between 2014-2019, with some 60 percent of the plants will be fired by coal.
The coal consumption for such plan has been predicted to amount to 166 million tons, excluding reserves for exports.
"We should see steady increase in coal consumption for domestic market obligation going forward," the Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) said on Tuesday citing its recent study with research firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Indonesia.
The study warned that Indonesia's current coals reserves stood at 8.3 billion tons, much lower than the estimates from the Ministry of Energy and Minerals which put it at 32.4 billion tons.
Indonesia, the association said, will run out of its coal reserves by 2036 and start buying the fossil fuel from aboard.
"This is less than 20 years into lifecycle of new coal fired power plant which typically spans between 25-30 years from commercial operation date," it said.
Coal use for electricity generation in Indonesia has more than doubled at 81 percent between 2002-2012, reaching 195.9 terawatt-hours.
Latest data from the ministry showed that domestic coal consumption in the country rose 34.5 percent annually to 24.5 million tons in the January-April 2016 period, due to the 35 GW program.