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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        8  February 2011

No more delays for Indonesian coal shipments

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Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Darwin Zahedy Saleh gave assurances that there should no longer be any "disturbances" affecting coal exports as licensing problems that had caused shipping delays in recent weeks had been settled.

"I've signed off on those business permits. The process took a bit longer because we had to be careful to avoid problems in the future," he said after a meeting with Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi and the National Energy Council in Jakarta on Friday.

He added that his ministry had to review several prevailing regulations on coal trading before approving the permits to ensure that the country's national interests were protected. He claimed that the coal sector was relatively "young but strategic", so required more careful policy making.

Shipments of nearly 4 million tons of coal for overseas buyers have been delayed due to the late issuance of permits from the ministry. The ministry's new regulation states that a coal trader should apply for transportation and sales permits to enable them to export coal. The Indonesian Coal Mining Association (APBI) said most companies it represented had applied for the required permits since November last year.

APBI chairman Bob Kamandanu claimed that due to the late approval, the shipment of 3.5 million tons of coal for export had been delayed. The association estimates that the problem caused financial losses of between US$20,000 and $25,000 per day.


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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs  
04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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