JAKARTA: Indonesia said on Thursday it would allow 37 vessels loaded with coal to depart, in the strongest sign yet that the world’s biggest thermal coal exporter is relaxing its ban on shipments. A senior cabinet minister said in a statement the ban implemented on Jan. 1 had been eased for miners that have met a requirement to sell a portion of their output for local power generation, after the state utility procured enough coal to ensure 15 days of operation.
“I request that this is supervised closely so this also becomes a moment for us to improve domestic governance,” Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said in the statement. The 37 vessels included 14 ships whose clearance was announced earlier in the week.
Later on Thursday, 18 of the vessels, carrying around 1.3 million tonnes of coal, secured energy ministry verification, which is needed for a departure permit, according to a document reviewed by Reuters.