Coal Age

OCT 2018

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May 2016 2 editor's note Emerging Asian Opportunities A s the fourth quarter begins, U.S. coal production is track- ing about 3% less than last year. If that remained the case for the rest of the year, total U.S. coal production would be a little more than 763 million tons. Many of these numbers lag and a lot could change between now and the end of the year. The news section opens this month with two bankruptcy reorganizations: Westmoreland Coal and Mission Coal. While they are two more casualties that are working to get their fi- nancial affairs in order, readers should notice a fair amount of good news in that section as well. A number of small and me- dium size producers have announced some good results and certain regions are seeing growth. Some of this growth is due to a buoyant export market. The latest figures available (year-to-date August 2018) show exports tracking about 18 million tons above where they were this time last year, 78 million tons vs. 60 million tons. Steam coal exports are up about 10 million tons and met exports are up about 8 million tons. While exports by destination are up in general across the board, coal exports to Asia have increased 12.8 million tons (9.5 million steam and 3.3 million met). While it's true that China is a huge export destination, the growing markets for American coal are India, Japan and South Korea. According to a recent Institute of Energy Research (IER) report, Asia is expected to increase coal use for power generation for the foreseeable future. Coal Age has routinely reported on new power plant construction, which will drive future con- sumption. In the last two years, China commissioned more than twice as much coal- fired capacity as the rest of the world combined. The IER report predicts that an ad- ditiona1 100 gigawatts (GW ) of coal-fired capacity will be built by 2040. What's really great about these plants is that most will be high-efficiency, low-emission (HELE) plants that use supercritical technologies that reach up to 50% net efficiency in coal combustion compared to the 30% for standard plants. This form of coal-fired power generation is a wise choice for these Asian coun- tries and the rest of the world. The cities throughout China, India and southeast Asia represent about 60% of the global population. Affordable large-scale sources of elec- tricity will allow them to improve their lives and it will spur economic growth. Asian banks and construction firms will capitalize on this opportunity as west- ern banks are forced to turn their backs by misinformed environmental pressure. It's estimated that more than $15 billion has been invested in coal-fired projects throughout the region in the last three years. China lends its support through the Belt and Road Initiative. Large companies in Japan and South Korea have organized investment groups to fund these projects as well. Are you unsure as to how you can take advantage of these developing markets? Many American companies are exporting with fewer hurdles and more confidence by partnering with the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (See Operating Ideas, p. 38). This independent federal government agency can provide financial support for businesses of all sizes to boost international sales. U.S. coal operators shouldn't overlook the opportunities afforded by export markets. Coal Age, Volume 123, Issue 8, (ISSN 1040-7820) is published monthly ex- cept January and July, by Mining Media International, Inc., 11655 Central Parkway, Suite 306, Jacksonville, Florida 32224 ( Pe- riodicals postage paid at Jacksonville, FL, and additional mailing offices. Canada Post Publications Mail Agreement No. 41450540. 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Phone: +1.904.721.2925 Fax: +1.904.721.2930 Editorial Publisher & Editor-in-Chief—Steve Fiscor, Associate Editor—Jennifer Jensen, Technical Writer—Jesse Morton, Contributing Editor—Russ Carter, Latin American Editor—Oscar Martinez, Graphic Designer—Tad Seabrook, Sales Midwest/Eastern U.S. & Canada, Sales—Victor Matteucci, Western U.S., Canada & Australia—Frank Strazzulla, Scandinavia, UK and European Sales—Colm Barry, Germany, Austria & Switzerland Sales—Gerd Strasmann, Japan Sales—Masao Ishiguro, Production Manager—Dan Fitts,

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