Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Geology


The Government of the Republic of Indonesia desires to develop the Banko Barat coal field which is located near Tanjungenim South Sumatra, Indonesia. Coal produced from Banko Barat coal field is intended to fulfil the needs of the power plants of Suralaya in West Java. The Neogene Banko Barat coal was deposited in the Muaraenim Formation of the South Sumatra Basin. The formation is primarily encountered in limnic-telmatic (peat/swamp) facies and is subdivided into four units, Ml to M4. The M2 unit is the most important with regard to economically mineable coal seams in this formation. It contains the Manggus (A) seam, Suban (B) seam and Petai (C) seam. Rank and type variation within the Banko Barat coals were assessed by pétrographie examination of 92 samples. Petrographically, the Banko Barat coals are dominated by vitrinite with common liptinite and rare inertinite. Vitrinite macérais are dominated by detrovitrinite and telovitrinite. Liptinite is dominated by resinite, suberinite, cutinite and sporinite. Inertinite macérais include semifusinite, fusinite and sclerotinite. The climatic conditions and differences in peat conditions influenced the type of coal formed. The vitrinite reflectance in Banko Barat is relatively the same throughout the seams. Small differences are due to the depth of burial and no evidence was found to suggest that the Banko Barat coal was affected by the Bukit Asam Andesite intrusion. Chemically and physically, Banko Barat coads are mainly low ash, low to very low sulphur, relatively high calorific value and volatile matter, relatively low moisture content and medium hardness. Therefore, the Banko Barat coals are classified as subbituminous coals B and C. The sodium content in ash is slightly high and increases steadily from outcrop to down dip. In the deeper parts of the deposit the sodium concentrations were found to be in excess of 6% with values ranging from 1% to 3% in the shallower parts of the deposit. Highest sodium content is found in the A2 and B1 seams. The Banko Barat coals are suited for use in the Suralaya power station, although the sodium may cause severe boiler fouling, but with a slight modification to the cross section of the combustion chamber and the installation of water soot-blowers the fouling and slagging problems can be alleviated. Environmentally, burning the Banko Barat coal in power stations is environmentally safe as nitrogen emissions and sulphur dioxide emission, as well as particulate matter, are below the ambient standard as recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO).



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.