Coal Age

SEP 2018

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Page 8 of 53

September 2018 5 news continued w o r l d n e w s Coal Demand Continues to Rise Despite China's Effort to Switch Fuels China's growing demand for power means that coal will remain an important source of fuel for many years to come. Although coal's share in power is expected to gradually fall as the government's desire to shift to gas increases. However, soaring gas import prices and insufficient infrastructure, according to CRU, are limiting the extent to which gas can replace coal in the medium term. In early 2016, China ratified its 13 th five-year plan. It included more stringent environmental policies designed to reduce air pol- lution by promoting the use of natural gas. Power demand in China has been rising rapidly. During the first five months of 2018, power demand grew by 8.5%, up from 6% in 2017. CRU attributes this rise to the growing demand for power from the residential sector, which increased by 13% year-over-year since the start of 2017. They also believe that improving environmental efficiencies has forced industry to become more power intensive to meet specific requirements. As such, CRU said it expects total power generation to continue to rise at a similar rate, with coal power generation also increasing from current levels. However, its share in the power mix is expected to fall over time. Russia Will Export More Coal in 2018 Russia is expected to export more than 200 million metric tons (mt) of coal in 2018, according to Xinhua. At a fuel and energy com- mission held in the Kemerovo Region, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said, "Russia is expected to produce over 420 million mt of coal in 2018, surpassing the maximum level of former Soviet times reached in 1988." He added, "The export of coal from Russia, according to our estimates, is expected to exceed 200 million mt — about 100 mil- lion mt in the west and about 100 million mt in the east. Russia's total share in the global coal market has increased more than 3.5 times over the past 20 years and now amounts to 14%." Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the meeting that Russia will further expand its presence in the world coal market. He noted that Russian companies exported more than 190 million mt of coal last year, ranking the third in the world. "The current situation provides an opportunity to expand Russia's presence in the global coal market, strengthen its posi- tions and increase our share," Putin said. New Power Plant Commissioned in Panama South Korea's Posco Engineering & Construction Co. held a cere- mony to dedicate the completion of the construction of the largest combined-cycle power plant in Panama. The 381-megawatt (MW) plant is located near Colon, 60 kilometers (km) north of Panama City, Panama. In addition to providing power for First Quantum's Cobre Pan- ama mine and the Panama Canal, the new $671 million plant is expected to provide about a quarter of Panama's total electrical demand. The project was finished in 27 months, the fastest among similar projects in Latin America, according to the company. Looking to expand its footprint in the region, Posco was the first power plant construction company to venture into Latin Amer- ica's energy market in 2006 with a coal-fired power plant deal in Ventanas, Chile. The company now holds an impressive track re- cord in Latin America, having secured more than $5.6 billion worth of power plant deals during its 10 years of operation in the region. Continued on p. 6... top 10 coal-producing states emissions could be 33% to 34% below 2005 levels, the EPA said. The CPP required states to reduce emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. Those in the coal industry applauded the proposed rule. "The replacement rule respects the infrastructure and economic realities that are unique to each state, allowing for state-driven solutions, as intended by the Clean Air Act, rather than top down mandates," National Mining Association Pres- ident Hal Quinn said. "It also embraces American innovation, by encouraging plant upgrades. West Virginia Coal Association President Bill Raney said the set of regulations under the ACE are more reasonable than ones outlined in the CPP, but would still aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. "The coal industry has proven time and again that we are the best environmentalists out there," Raney said. "U.S. coal plants have reduced toxic air emissions by more than 90% over the last few decades. We are committed to continu- ing to make improvements while protecting America's domes- tic energy security and, most importantly, to keep our West Virginians working." While many in the coal industry expressed optimism about how the proposed rule would affect the industry, Moody's lead coal analyst Benjamin Nelson offered a different view, saying, "The proposed rules could benefit coal producers by slowing the ongoing decline in demand for thermal coal in the United States. "While the proposal is a modest credit positive for the coal industry, we expect that economics will continue to drive substitution away from coal, with numerous coal-fired power plants slated for retirement in the coming years." EPA will take comment on the proposed rule for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will hold a public hearing on Monday, October 1 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Chicago, Illinois, at the Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building. Alpha Natural Resources Sees Increase in Income, Coal Sales Alpha Natural Resources, a leading coal supplier in Central Appalachia, reported first-half 2018 net income of $64.6 (in Thousand Short Tons) Week Ending (8/25/18) YTD '18 YTD '17 % Change Wyoming 198,793 205,054 -3.1 West Virginia 61,453 60,160 2.1 Illinois 32,406 32,485 -0.2 Pennsylvania 30,826 32,376 -4.8 Kentucky 30,826 28,633 -8.9 Montana 24,051 21,434 12.2 Indiana 20,995 20,799 0.9 Texas 19,222 22,825 -15.8 North Dakota 18,823 18,383 2.4 Alabama 9,625 8,512 13.1 U.S. Total 490,602 504,092 -2.7

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