Milawarman, the president director of the state company, said here on Monday that demand for coal grew from India offsetting the declining demand from China.
Milawarman said the company will produce coal just to meet the market demand.
"Currently most or 65 percent of the company`s coal production is disposed of on the domestic market with 35 percent for exports," he said.
The company`s largest buyer in the country is the state electricity company PT Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) that uses the coal to feed its coal fired power plants.
Around 80 percent of the sales are on contract including 60 percent in contract with PLN, Milawarman said.
He said he is optimistic the coal price would improve in the second half of the year with growing demand from India.
He said the sales target of 16 million tons this year could be reached but it would depend much on the readiness of the railway as the main transport means from its largest coal mine in Tanjung Enim in South Sumatra.
The company has said it could not boost production because of transport problem from the mine to the market especially between the mine and the seaports
The company, there, has two railway projects in southern Sumatra.
It has a project to build a 270-kilometer rail tract for coal transport between Tanjung Enim and Tanjung Siapi Api port town in South Sumatra.
The railway project will be built jointly with Adani Global from India.
Bukit Asam will also build a coal terminal in Tanjung Siapi Api to facilitate shipment of coal to other area or for exports.
Last year, the company produced only 12.5 million tons from Tanjung Enim and this year it hopes to raise the production to 16.3 million tons.
The operation of the railway would allow it to boost production up to 35 million tons a year.
Bukit Asam also takes part in the project to build a 307-kilometer double tract linking Tanjung Enim and the Srengsem port in Lampung.
Bukit Asam holds a 10 percent stake in the 307-kilometers railway project, which is 80 percent owned by the Rajawali Group and 10 percent by China Railway Group Ltd.
In the first half of the year, the company reported Rp1.56 trillion in net profit, down 3 percent from Rp1.61 trillion in the same period last year.
Sales rose 14 percent to 7.08 million tons from 6.19 million tons with prices rising 0.5 percent to Rp785,040 per ton on-year.
(T.SYS/A/H-ASG/B003) 27-08-2012 16:09:29