The coal industry is hurting. While the emissions heavy fossil fuel has been falling out of favor for quite a while now, this year has been particularly brutal. In no small part thanks to the spread of the novel coronavirus and the ensuing drop in energy demand, the nuclear sector is in big trouble. For just a taste of the kind of summer coal has had, here is just a small selection of the nearly uniform doom-and-gloom headlines on offer: “Renewables surpass coal in US energy generation for first time in 130 years” from the Guardian, “Coal’s Decline Continues with 13 Plant Closures Announced in 2020” from Scientific American’s E&E Energy News platform, and “The U.S. Coal Industry Is Declining Irreversibly” from us here at Oil Price. But this disaster has been decades in the making. Between the years of 2009 and 2019, coal demand plummeted 43 percent by an energy-equivalent metric, as reported by BP Plc’s most recent statistical energy review. In Europe, coal demand dropped 23 percent. The UK experienced a stunning 79 percent decline and the few active coal-fired plants it has left are growing less active all the time…Full Story
The first coal shipment was provided by IMI FUELS LLC and carried by MV NORD YILAN vessel which departed from Benicia Port, California.. Photo courtesy of Vinacomin.
Over 21,700 tonnes of coal from the US have arrived at Cua Ong Port, the northern province of Quang Ninh, paving the way for further import amidst the rising demand for the fuel in service of domestic electricity production, according to Vietnam National Coal and Mineral Industries Holding Corporation (Vinacomin).
The first coal shipment was provided by IMI FUELS LLC and carried by MV NORD YILAN vessel which departed from Benicia Port, California. The imported coal will be processed into forms appropriate for domestic use.
Vinacomin General Director Dang Thanh Hai said the arrival of the first batch laid the ground for further cooperation between the two countries in coal and energy.
The second batch is expected to arrive in September, Hai added…Full Story
One of the nation’s largest superannuation funds has promised to ditch its shares in companies that earn more than 10 per cent of revenue from thermal coal mining.
First State Super, which looks after more than $120 billion in retirement savings, announced its plans to sell out of thermal coal as part of a broader climate action plan released on Thursday.
The superannuation fund has set an emissions reduction target of 30 per cent across its listed equities portfolio by 2023 and 45 per cent across its portfolio by 2030.
First State Super CEO Deanne Stewart said climate change was one of the biggest risks to members’ retirement savings, and that now was the time for “bold and decisive action”…Full Story
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thermal coal imports at India”s 12 major ports saw a 30.46 per cent plunge at 7.8 million tonnes (MT) in the first month of the current fiscal, as per the ports body IPA.
These Centre-owned ports had handled 11.27 MT of thermal coal in the same month of 2018-19.
The Indian Ports Association (IPA), which maintains cargo data handled by these 12 ports, in its latest report said “percentage variation from previous year” in thermal coal handling was at 30.46 per cent.
Imports of coking and other coal too declined 17.07 per cent at 4.27 MT during the month. These ports had handled 5.15 MT of coking coal in the corresponding month last fiscal.
Thermal coal is the mainstay of India”s energy programme as 70 per cent of power generation is dependent on the dry fuel, while coking coal is used mainly for steel-making.
India is the third-largest producer of coal after China and the US and has 299 billion tonnes of resources and 123 billion tonnes of proven reserves, which may last for over 100 years.
India has 12 major ports — Kandla, Mumbai, JNPT, Marmugao, New Mangalore, Cochin, Chennai, Kamarajar (Ennore), V O Chidambarnar, Visakhapatnam, Paradip and Kolkata (including Haldia) — which handle approximately 61 per cent of the country”s total cargo traffic…Full Story
A detailed discussion was held by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi in which the potential economic reforms in mines and coal sectors were deliberated upon. The discussions involved ensuring easy and abundant availability of mineral resources from domestic sources, upscaling exploration, attracting investment and modern technology, to generate large scale employment through transparent and efficient processes.
Auctioning of additional blocks, encouraging wider participation in auctions, increasing the production of mineral resources, reducing the cost of mining and cost of transporting, increasing ease of doing business while also reducing carbon footprint with environmentally sustainable development also formed an important part of the discussions…Full Story
Citigroup Inc. will stop providing financial services to thermal coal-mining companies over the next 10 years to help accelerate the economy’s shift away from fossil fuels.
By 2025, the bank won’t provide underwriting and advisory services to the industry and will cut its credit exposure in half, Citigroup said Monday in a statement. It plans to eliminate its exposure entirely by 2030.
“Citi recognizes that emissions from fossil-fuel sectors in particular must be drastically reduced in the coming decade,” the company said in the statement. “The shift away from fossil fuels in pursuit of renewable and other sources of low-carbon energy will have a significant effect on clients in coal-fired power generation, coal mining and certain segments of the energy sector.”…Full Story
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An uptick in the number of coronavirus cases in Indonesia have stoked concerns on the possibility for various coal consuming regions to implement more stringent checks on ships coming from Kalimantan, sources said Monday.
China imported 68.1 million mt of coal in the first two months of this year, up 33.3% from 51.1 million mt from the year-ago figure, according to data from the country’s General Administration of Customs.
Seaborne thermal coal traders largely attributed the reason for the surge in imports to a domestic production crunch since the COVID-19 outbreak in late January.
A South China-based trader said incoming ships from Indonesia might have to go through Chinese quarantine checks, just like how outgoing Chinese ships faced safety checks earlier last month.
Some ports in southern China have already imposed import restrictions on seaborne coal, and it could worsen if China decides to further quarantine and check on incoming Indonesian ships, said an east China-based source…Full Story
Below is an interesting article from SXCoal, highlighting some of the challenges that the Indonesian coal industry will be facing in 2020. From requiring coal exports to use Indonesian owned vessels, to requiring coal miners to sell 25% of their annual production domestically.
By Alex Guo | SX Coal
Indonesia started 2020 with two important policies in the mining sector: the ban on nickel ore exports and the requirement that coal companies export coal using local ships.
As the country is a top exporter of both commodities, the policies will have a significant impact on the global market.
Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry regulation No. 11/2019 bans nickel ore exports starting in January while Trade Ministry regulation No. 80/2018 requires coal exports to use Indonesian-owned ships starting in May. Both regulations were designed to create more business opportunities in Indonesia, but miners have raised concerns about the policies’ impacts on global commodity prices and supplies.
Nevertheless, the Energy Ministry’s coal and mineral director Gen. Bambang Gatot Ariyono said his office would remain steadfast in enforcing regulations by “tightening industry monitoring through digital integration”.
Bambang’s office has launched several digital systems over the last quarter to tighten its oversight on the mining industry. The systems include the Sales Verification Module (MVP) and the Mineral and Coal Online Monitoring System (MOMS)…Full Story
By Nqobile Dludla. Editing by Jane Merriman | Reuters
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s mining industry body on Monday urged the government to bring on stream new private sector power sources to ease the power crisis that has pushed the country to the brink of recession.
Struggling state-owned utility Eskom was forced to implement power cuts across the country last year and also last week even though many businesses and factories were closed for the holidays.
The power cuts have piled pressure on President Cyril Ramaphosa, who came to power with a pledge to revive investor confidence and boost economic growth.
The Minerals Council South Africa said the insecurity in power supplies plus rapidly increasing costs were at the forefront of the constraints on the economy and mining industry….Full Story
One of Germany’s biggest utilities plans to open a new coal plant even though the nation is lagging behind countries from U.K. to Spain in phasing out the fuel.
Protesters are already preparing to disrupt the opening of Uniper SE’s Datteln-4 plant in June and could turn the utility into the latest flash point in Germany’s increasingly fractious debate about the fossil fuel that still generates about a third of the country’s electricity. The conflict could threaten Chancellor Angela Merkel’s climate legacy as German emission targets lag following a decade of record renewable energy investments.
Merkel is trying to build consensus this week over a 2038 exit date for coal and heal widening rifts between industry and environmentalists. Government officials and company executives will meet for another round of talks Jan. 15 in Berlin, where they’ll discuss compensation for abandoning coal. Uniper is keen for its plant to become one of the nation’s last operating coal facilities….Full Story