Having just bought its first panamax, Indonesia’s coal transfer specialist, Asian Bulk Logistics (ABL) is now looking at entering the gas trades.
The Jakarta-headquartered firm has nine coal transfer ships on its books and nearly 100 barges to go alongside the panamax, Bulk Batavia, which it acquired last month, fixing it on a 10-year charter to haul coal around Indonesian waters.
We don’t want to spend capex with high investment risks
As well as its coal operations in Indonesia, ABL has a growing business assisting bauxite exports from Guinea in West Africa.
Also coming up in the next few months will be the opening of ABL’s first port at Sambarata in Kalimantan.
Under Ika Bethari, ABL’s president director, the company has been moving away from its coal origins, aware that the commodity is increasingly being shunned. Diversification of business lines has been ongoing for a number of years now, with a growing focus on nickel as well as overseas acquisitions.
“We don’t want to spend capex with high investment risks, however we don’t want to miss any good opportunities,” Bethari tells Maritime CEO.
The Indonesian government is also cutting its reliance on coal, announcing plans to transform 52 power plants to gas, something where Bethari can see a clear opportunity for ABL to branch out further with a possible entry into the feeder gas tanker trades.