Coal Age

JUL-AUG 2018

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6 July/August 2018 news continued reached 94% of its target. In particular, the production of coal mines managed by the Energy Ministry made up 308,700 mt, which amounted to 78.7% of the planned targets. The production of coal mining enterprises of all forms of own- ership totaled 16.4 million mt of coal since the beginning of the year, which is 774,000 mt more coal than targeted. The coal mines managed by the Energy Ministry extracted 2.16 million mt of coal since the beginning of the year, which is 93.3% of the planned targets. Coal to Pass Iron Ore as Top Australian Export Coal is projected to emerge as Australia's largest export earner, generating $58.1 billion for the 2018-2019 financial year. It has been forecast to overtake iron ore, which has been estimated to register $57.7 billion in 2018-2019. Coal is expected to hit its highest annual level ever in 2017- 2018, where it is forecast to take home $60.2 billion, made up of $37.5 billion, or 182 million metric tons (mt), worth of metallurgi- cal coal, and $22.7 billion (or 200.5 mt) worth of thermal coal. Australia's high-grade metallurgical coal is among the world's best for modern steel making, while Australia's high-en- ergy, low-ash coal matches the needs of Asia's high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) coal-fired power plants. By 2023, Asia's import demand for thermal coal alone is pro- jected to shoot up by 400 mt more than current levels. Following on strong market fundamentals for Australian coal in the past 12 months, the Minerals Council of Australia believes the resurgence of coal exports over the long-term will be under- pinned by three factors: the high productivity of Australia's coal companies; Australia's proximity to major markets; and strong re- gional economic and population growth. "Coal is a cornerstone Australian industry built on the ef- forts of hard-working Australians which supports regional jobs and communities. It has a strong future which can meet the require- ments of a modern economy," said MCA Executive Director of Coal Greg Evans. "Governments across Australia need to ensure that sensible policy settings are in place to secure the economic, jobs and social dividend from the strong demand for coal in our region." Historically, coal had been Australia's biggest export earner, particularly to New South Wales and Queensland. It is mostly sold to developed north Asian markets, and the emerging markets of Southeast Asia and India. In addition to export revenue, coal continues to make a sig- nificant contribution to the Australian economy. It provides 75% of generation in the national electricity market, more than 51,000 di- rect jobs and $6 billion in state royalties annually to pay for police, nurses, teachers and other vital services. Mongolia Revives Plan for Billion-dollar Coal Mine IPO The Mongolian government has revived plans shelved several years ago for an international stock offering of the company that controls one of the world's largest coal mines, buoyed by recovering commod- ity prices. The government's plan to list 30% of Erdenes Tavan Tolgoi through a combined domestic and overseas offering is now under debate in parliament and may be approved soon. The domestic list- ing is scheduled for September, according to the Nikkei Asia Review. The government has yet to decide on a venue for the overseas list- ing or how it will be split between the domestic and offshore markets. Tavan Tolgoi, in the south of Mongolia about 240 kilometers (km) from the Chinese border, holds estimated reserves of 7.5 bil- Continued from p. 5... sociation (NMA) found that more than half (55%) believe the U.S. government should support coal-fired power plants, given their ability to provide electricity 24/7, and their utilization of fuel that can be stored on-site in the event of an emergency. Only 20% of voters opposed action to support coal and 24% had no opinion or did not know, the NMA said. "Americans value reliability and, when it comes to keeping the lights on, they want to preserve all of our options," said Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO. "We shouldn't be faced with a false choice of either/or when it comes to the fuels that power our grid. Reliability and resiliency depend on fuel diversity." The poll also found that 73% of Americans still believe in an all-of-the-above energy strategy that includes coal, natural gas, nuclear power and renewables. The poll was conducted from June 7-11 of 2,201 adults nationwide carrying a margin of error of +/- 2%. NTEC Buys Stake in the Four Corners Power Plant Navajo Transitional Energy Co. (NTEC) has acquired a 7% ownership interest in units 4 and 5 of the Four Corners Power Plant (FCPP). NTEC purchased the interest from 4C Acquisition LLC (4CA), an affiliate of Arizona Public Service Co., which op- erates the FCPP. The agreement was executed at the end of June, and the transaction closed on July 2. As a result of the transac- tion, NTEC, a business wholly owned by the Navajo Nation, be- comes an owner of a coal-fired power plant, a first for a Navajo Nation enterprise. "This is a milestone for NTEC," said Clark Moseley, NTEC CEO. "One of our primary goals has been to manage the as sets of NTEC responsibly to allow for growth and prosperity as a Navajo Nation-owned enterprise. This news is great for NTEC and we look forward to maximizing the benefits of this milestone." Concurrently with the purchase, NTEC and Arizona Public Service Co. also entered into an amended and restated coal sup- ply agreement, which governs FCPP fuel purchases from NTEC. The amended and restated coal supply agreement provides NTEC with more flexibility in the sale and purchase of coal from NTEC's Navajo mine. NTEC was also able to pay off the remaining bal- ance of its term loan that was used to refinance NTEC's purchase of the Navajo mine from BHP Billiton in 2013. "NTEC has been working long and hard on securing and finaliz- ing this deal," said Steve Grey, governmental and external affairs direc- tor. "In this time and era, Navajos are seeking a seat at the energy table and NTEC is providing the means to make that happen." OMU's Retirement of Power Plant Will Benefit Big Rivers Two traditional coal-burning electric utilities in western Ken- tucky — Owensboro Municipal Utilities and Big Rivers Electric Corp. — are heading in different directions with their coal gen- eration fleets. OMU, a municipal utility in the state's third-largest city, decided this summer to retire its 425-megawatt (MW ) Elmer Smith power plant in 2020. That move, however, is expected to extend the lives of Big Rivers' 454-MW Green and 417-MW D.B. Wilson plants as the Henderson-based generation and transmis- sion co-op has agreed to supply 165 MW of full-requirements Continued on p. 7...

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