Power, Coal and Electricity
Aug 30 - China faces massive closures of small thermal power plants - media
China's power generation companies will have to contend with massive closures of their smaller coal-fired power plants as government plans to shut excessive coal and steel capacity deprives the plants of customers, local media reported.China Guodian Corp, one of the country's top five state-owned power companies, might stumble as less-efficient "zombie" power plants are no longer economically viable, said Zhang Shumin, Guodian's chief economist, on Saturday, as cited by Chinese financial publication Lengjing on their website.
Aug 18 - After years of pain, coal becomes one of the hottest commodities of 2016
Less than a year after the coal industry was declared to be in terminal decline, the fossil fuel has staged its steepest price rally in over half a decade, making it one of the hottest major commodities.Cargo prices for Australian thermal coal from its Newcastle terminal, seen as the Asian benchmark, have soared over 35 percent since mid-June to more than one-year highs of almost $70 a tonne, pushed by surprise increases in Chinese imports.
Aug 17 - UK watchdog says may revoke ICE's $650 mln Trayport takeover
Financial and commodity markets operator Intercontinental Exchange should consider reversing its $650 million takeover of commodities trading software house Trayport to avoid reducing competition in European energy trading markets, Britain's competition watchdog said on Tuesday. ICE beat arch-rival CME Group to buy London-based Trayport in December last year but the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) launched an in-depth investigation in May after deciding that the tie-up might be expected to result in a substantial lessening of competition.
Aug 15 - Undermining China: towns sink after mines close
Deep in the coal heartlands of northern Shanxi province, people in Helin village are fighting a losing battle as the ground beneath them crumbles: patching up cracks, rebuilding walls and filling in sinkholes caused by decades of coal mining. Around 100 pits in Helin - buried in the hilly rural outskirts of the city of Xiaoyi - have been exhausted, and cluttered hamlets totter precariously on the brittle slopes of mines. But while local authorities have begun evacuating hundreds of thousands of residents most at risk elsewhere in Shanxi province, Helin's situation – though serious - isn't yet considered a priority. Click here to read full stories.
Aug 12 - U.S. coal use may rise, but unlikely to unseat natgas as power king
Demand for U.S. coal is projected to recover slightly in 2017 after years of decline, but it will not reclaim the crown it held for more than a century as the leading fuel behind U.S. power generation, analysts said. An expected rise in natural gas prices, thanks to overseas demand, should boost use of cheaper coal by power generators. However, energy companies and analysts said they expected gas to remain the dominant fuel for producing electricity in the United States for years.
Aug 11 - Australia to pay BHP $170 mln to repurchase coal exploration permit
New South Wales agreed to pay BHP Billiton A$220 million ($170 million) to buy back a coal exploration licence that extends under prime farmland in the state's eastern Liverpool Plains, the government said on Thursday. "After careful consideration, the NSW Government has determined that coal mining under these highly fertile black soil plains... poses too great a risk for the future of this food-bowl and the underground water sources that support it," Premier Mike Baird said in a release.
Aug 10 - U.S. must bury coal to save miner jobs - Interior secretary
From Appalachia to Wyoming, surging demand for cheap natural gas, tougher environmental regulations and multiple coalcompany bankruptcies have left behind a devastated coal business, lost jobs and billions of dollars in cleanup work. Many of the jobs are gone for good, but ex-miners can repair the damaged land and shape a post-coal economy, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said on a recent visit to coal country, offering up a future starkly different from Donald Trump's.
Aug 05 - Australia's top coal state weighs shortfall for coal mine clean-ups
The state of Queensland, Australia's biggest coal producer, could face a A$3.2 billion ($2.4 billion) shortfall in funding to rehabilitate coal mines when they close, according to a preliminary estimate done for a state agency. Anti-coal group Lock the Gate Alliance, which released the leaked government study, said the report showed that the state needed to step up financial assurances from coal companies to avoid a hefty clean-up bill on taxpayers.
Jul 25 - China sets up coal asset management firm to push overcapacity cut
China has set up a coal asset management firm as part of its effort to reduce excess capacity in the sector, China's state-owned assets regulator said. China Shenhua Group, China National Coal Group Corp, China Reform Holdings Corp and China Chengtong Holdings Group have jointly set up the firm, the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission said in a website statement. click here.
Jul 22 - Not all coal rallies are equal as quality grades shine: Russell
Not all coal rallies are created equal, with fairly stark differences emerging in the gains this year for various grades of the fuel, suggesting buyers are becoming more selective. In some ways it's surprising that coal of any grade has staged a rally this year, given the market remains over-supplied and major consumers such as China and India are actively trying to cut consumption or imports, or both. click here.
Jul 21 - China June coal imports from Indonesia up 53.6 pct on year - customs
China's imports of coal from Indonesia reached 2.89 million tonnes in June, up 53.6 percent from a year earlier, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday. Imports from Mongolia surged 78.8 percent in June from a year earlier to 2.34 million tonnes, and are up 45.9 percent in the first six months of this year, compared with the same period in 2015, at 10.4 million tonnes. click here .
Jul 15 - Coal prices bounce back this year, but not for good
A rally in thermal coal prices over the past few months, after years of decline, should continue into next year but a cloud still hangs over the market in the form of weakening global demand due to more clean energy and increased energy efficiency.All major benchmarks for thermal coal have risen above $60 a tonne in the past few weeks, an increase of around 50 percent since record lows earlier this year, due to output cuts, supply disruptions, and increases in demand in some parts of the world. click here .
Jul 14 - India's coal shift a double whammy for Indonesian exporters
For many coal miners in Indonesia's resource-dependent economy, a surprise shift in India's coal industry - from big importer to potential exporter - could not have come at a worse time.Prices have slumped over the past five years and a slowing China is buying less. Now, Indonesia faces an Indian double whammy: not only is its main export market producing so much coal that it aims towind down imports in two years, it's also set to start exporting for the first time - to a market dominated by Indonesia. click here .
Jul 08 - Rio Tinto sells Australian coal mine for a dollar
A small Australian miner on Monday bought Rio Tinto's Blair Athol coal mine in Queensland state for a token A$1, swooping in as big miners offload unprofitable assets after years of low coal prices. TerraCom Ltd, a subsidiary of Orion Mining Pty Ltd, said it will also receive A$80 million ($60.10 million) from the mining giant to meet rehabilitation costs at the site. click here .
Jul 07 - Coal miner Alpha says near bankruptcy deal with U.S. government
Alpha Natural Resources said on Wednesday it expects to reach a deal with the U.S. government over responsibility for the cost of cleaning upmining sites, removing one of the most significant hurdles to the coal company's exiting bankruptcy. Over the past few weeks, the fourth-largest U.S. coal miner and a slew of government agencies appeared to be heading for a showdown in court on Thursday, when Alpha is scheduled to ask a federal judge to approve its plan over objections. click here .
Jul 06 - South Korea to shut 10 ageing coal-fired power plants by 2025
South Korea plans to shut 10 ageing coal-fired power plants by 2025, as Asia's fourth-largest economy seeks to cut its reliance on dirtier fuels after a pledge at last year's Paris climate summit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Coal accounts for 40 percent of South Korea's electricity supplies, but in a tilt towards cleaner fuels Seoul recently said it was targeting $37 billion in renewable energy investment by 2020. click here.
Jul 01 - Russian coal output seen hitting 390 mln T in 2016 - energy minister
Russian coal production is seen at 390 million tonnes this year, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday, up from 373 million tonnes in 2015. He also said that Russian coal exports to China had declined by a quarter since the beginning of the year.According to energy ministry data, Russian coal exports to China stood at 15 million tonnes in 2015. click here .
Jul 01 - India's coal imports fell 5 pct in April-May - coal secretary
India's annual coal imports fell by about 5 percent in April-May to 35.85 million tonnes on increased local production, Coal Secretary Anil Swarup said in a Twitter post. The country imported 37.72 million tonnes in April-May 2015, he said. The government saved 42.85 billion rupees ($631.21 million) equivalent of foreign exchange due to the lower imports in the first two months of the fiscal year to March 2017, Swarup said. click here .
Jun 29 - Indonesia faces environmental time bomb after coal bust
Thousands of mines are closing in Indonesia’s tropical coal belt as prices languish and seams run dry. But almost none of the companies have paid their share of billions of dollars owed to repair the badly scarred landscape they have left behind. Abandoned mine pits dot the bare, treeless hillsides in Samarinda, the capital of East Kalimantan province on Indonesia's part of Borneo island. It is ground zero for a coal boom that made Indonesia the world's biggest exporter of the mineral that fuels power plants. Abandoned mining pits have now become death traps for children who swim in them, and their acidic water is killing nearby rice paddies. click here.
Jun 27 - Blackout, price risks loom as wind power prevails in South Australia
Rapid growth in wind and solar power in South Australia is raising the spectre of blackouts and soaring prices for businesses like global miner BHP Billiton as cheaper renewables have pushed traditional thermal power plants to close. South Australia uses wind farms and rooftop solar panels for 40 percent of its power, more than any part of the country. However, businesses that depend on the steady power provided by coal- and natural gas-fired generators are concerned about disruptions as the state relies more on intermittent renewable energy. click here .
Jun 21 - BHP Billiton steps up coal output, slices costs, eyes acquisitions
Top global miner BHP Billiton outlined plans to boost coal output by 8 percent over the next three years while slashing costs, and said it would only consider premium, lowest-cost assets for any acquisitions. BHP Billiton, the world's top exporter of coking coal used in steelmaking and also a producer of energy coal, is in the enviable position of running profitable coal mines at a time when more than half the world's coal mines are losing money. click here.
Jun 17 - Japan doubles down on coal power as trading houses curb investment
As most developed economies turn their back on coal, Japan is burning record amounts for electricity generation and plans to use even more of the dirtiest fossil fuel to fill the gap after the Fukushima disaster paralysed its nuclear sector. But as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government pushes coal power, both at home and through exporting technology abroad, some of Japan's powerful trading houses are cutting or freezing coal investments over concerns about the environmental fallout. click here .
Jun 09 - U.S. solar market to nearly double in 2016, led by utilities
The U.S. solar energy market will nearly double new installations this year to 14.5 gigawatts, led by utility projects that developers scrambled to bring online in anticipation of the expiration of a key federal tax credit, according to a report published on Thursday. Solar installations rose 24 percent in the first quarter, accounting for 64 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity during the period, the report by GTM Research said. click here.
Jun 08 - BHP Billiton sells Indonesian coal assets to Adaro
BHP Billiton said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell its coal assets in Indonesia to its partner, Adaro Energy, following a slump in prices for metallurgical coal. BHP did not disclose the price for its 75 percent stake in IndoMet Coal, which it first flagged was up for sale in April.click here.
Jun 08 - Coal, like oil, lifted by supply squeezes and record demand
All major benchmarks for thermal coal - the world's second most important energy fuel after crude oil - have pushed back above $50 a tonne for the first time this year, driven by output cuts, supply disruptions and increased demand. After years of declines, tightening fundamentals have been supported by a surge in oil prices and a weakening dollar, while storms in some producing regions and hot weather in Asia have exacerbated price movements.click here.
Jun 02 - India, Westinghouse in 'advanced' talks to close nuclear deal -ambassador
Toshiba Corp's Westinghouse Electric and India are in "advanced discussions" for the company to build six nuclear reactors there, the country's ambassador to the United States said on Wednesday, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned visit to Washington next week. A deal with Westinghouse would be the first such contract reached under the 2008 U.S.-India civil nuclear accord. click here.
Jun 01 - Coal industry shouldn't get carried away with new-found optimism: Russell
Something has changed in the coal industry. For the past 22 years Asia's coal producers, traders and buyers have gathered in the Indonesian resort island of Bali to discuss the state of the sector.In recent years these have been pretty depressing affairs as participants bemoaned the ongoing slump in prices, prayed that things couldn't get any worse and then lamented when they did. click here.
May 19 - China April coal output down 11.0 pct on year – stats bureau
China produced 268 million tonnes of coal in April, down 11 percent on the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday, with producers cutting back in a concerted effort to shore up prices.China's coal sector has been struggling with a massive capacity glut and miners have been encouraged to cut production to shore up domestic prices, which plummeted around 30 percent last year. The country has promised to shed 500 million tonnes of surplus capacity in the next five years. click here.
May 13 - China to boost energy storage 10-fold to cut power waste - industry
China is expected to raise its power storage capacity by ten-fold to 14.5 gigawatts by 2020, as the world's second-biggest economy tries to cut massive waste from renewable energy projects, an industry association said. China is the world largest wind and solar power producer, but some regions are estimated to be losing more than 40 percent of their power because of technical restraints and bottlenecks in the grid, alongside weak power demand growth. click here.
May 06 - China vows stronger action against illegal coal mining
China will take stronger action against illegal coal projects as it tries to tackle a massive capacity glut in the sector, the country's state planning agency said, after ordering the closure of 38 projects. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had ordered the immediate closure of the projects for breaching industry policies, it said in a notice posted on its website on Friday. click here.
May 03 - India's coal efficiency drive risks ire of powerful unions
Plans by India's coal monopoly to buy billions of dollars of new machinery and outsource work are facing resistance from powerful unions worried about job losses, in a potential blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to bring electricity to all. State-run Coal India Ltd, the world's biggest coal miner, has already doubled output growth since Modi came to power two years ago, owing to the removal of hurdles to production like environmental clearances and land acquisition. click here.
May 03 - Countries eyeing coal-fired plants must reassess energy strategy - IRENA
Countries that plan to build coal-fired power plants need to reassess their energy strategy because such facilities may not be a viable investment, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Monday. Many industry analysts see natural gas and renewables as the biggest growth sectors in energy, yet most Asian countries including Japan are still expanding coal faster than gas. click here.
May 02 - Australia coal mines brace for floods as La Nina looms
Five years ago floods linked to a La Nina weather pattern nearly brought Australia's coal industry to a standstill. With another of the sea-cooling events now forming and the risk of heavy rains returning, mining companies say they are ready. They have bought pumps, fortified levees and brushed up on procedures to deal with the deluge of water that a La Nina can bring, the companies say. click here.
Apr 28 - Polish state-controlled firms agree to put $620 mln into coal group
Six Polish state-controlled firms have agreed to put $620 million into a newly-established state coalmining group PGG, they said on Tuesday, as part of an effort to save the European Union's largest coal miner Kompania Weglowa from bankruptcy. Kompania is on the brink of bankruptcy as a result of record-low coal prices and high labour costs. Kompania's liabilities and debt, estimated at billions of zlotys meant the company could run out of money this month. click here.
Apr 27 - How some SunEdison creditors scored a safe, lucrative debt deal
When a group of hedge funds agreed to lend $725 million to SunEdison Inc - three months before it filed for bankruptcy last week - they secured an unusually generous concession from the U.S. renewable energy company and its other lenders. The funds, which at the time included Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC and Candlewood Investment Group LP, put themselves in a prime position to handle so-called debtor-in-position financing in the event of a bankruptcy. click here.
Apr 25 - Yieldcos enabled SunEdison's debt-fueled acquisition spree
At an early 2015 investor conference, SunEdison’s then-chief financial officer, Brian Wuebbels, trumpeted the profit potential in the solar developer’s relationship with a venture it had recently spun off. SunEdison had established TerraForm Power Inc as a “yieldco,” a complex financing vehicle to purchase energy projects from SunEdison and other developers. TerraForm lured investors with the promise of reliable dividends based on long-term power contracts. click here.
Apr 21 - BHP Billiton weighs getting out of Indonesian coal
BHP Billiton is considering quitting its coal assets in Indonesia, where it recently started shipping steel-making coal from a small mine, amid uncertainty over Indonesian regulations and a weak outlook for coal. BHP owns a 75 percent stake in the IndoMet Coal project, having sold the rest to Indonesia's Adaro Energy in 2010 for $335 million. Coal asset prices have collapsed since then, and analysts said BHP would be lucky to fetch $200 million now for the stake in a largely undeveloped resource. click here.
Apr 20 - BHP Billiton sees iron ore, coal prices dropping back
BHP Billiton does not expect recent rise in iron ore and metallurgical coal prices to hold for more than a few months, as more low cost supply is set to hit the market, its Australian chief said on Thursday. There has been a genuine pick-up in demand for steel in construction, which is partly seasonal, and in turn iron ore and coal, coming on the heels of a period where inventories were run down, BHP Billiton Minerals Australia president Mike Henry said. click here.
Apr 19 - China to strictly control credit for new coal, steel projects
China will strictly control credit available for new capacity additions in the steel and coal sectors, both of which are suffering from price sapping supply gluts, according to a government statement issued on Thursday. China's central bank, along with other government bodies, said China would also strengthen support for the export of coal and steel in a bid to ease domestic overcapacity. click here.
Apr 13 - China's March coal imports up 15.6 pct as restocking begins
China imported 19.69 million tonnes of coal in March, up 15.6 percent on the year, the country's customs authority said on Wednesday, as power plants sought to replenish stocks ahead of the peak summer consumption period. Imports in the first quarter reached 48.46 million tonnes, down 1.2 percent from the same period of last year, according to the General Administration of Customs. click here.
Apr 08 - Adani wins state approval for Australian coal project
India's Adani Enterprises Ltd was granted approval by Australia's Queensland state government on Sunday to proceed with its proposed A$10 billion ($7.7 billion) Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin. Queensland Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk said the approvals gave Adani permission to mine coal reserves estimated at 11 billion tonnes and to build roads, workshops, power lines and pipelines associated with the mine. click here.
Apr 08 - Australia's green groups keep heat on Adani after mine approval
Environmental campaigners say they hope two outstanding court cases can still stop India's Adani Enterprises Ltd from developing a A$10 billion ($7.6 billion) coal project, even after it received a key state government approval. The granting of a mining lease by the state government marked another step in Adani's long-running bid for approval to mine and ship an estimated 11 million tonnes of coal reserves, building roads, power lines and pipelines to do so. click here.
Apr 01 - Vale says Mitsui not reconsidering Mozambique coal venture
Brazil's Vale SA, the world's No. 2 mining company, said on Thursday that partner Mitsui & Co Ltd has no plans to revise the terms of a coal venture project in Mozambique, as reported by a newspaper. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale said in a securities filing that a recent decision to reduce the accounting value of assets in the project "does not directly impact Mitsui's investment decision" in the asset, adding that both companies are working to conclude long-term financing for the venture. click here.
Mar 28 - India to rely on state miners to meet coal target – minister
India will meet its target of doubling coal production by 2020 without the help of private miners, the country's coal and power minister said, ruling out new measures to entice cash-strapped companies to begin mining the commodity. India wants to produce 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020 to power its economy and reduce imports. State-owned Coal India Ltd, the world's largest coal miner, has raised production in line with reaching a target of 1 billion tonnes a year within four years and the government wants private miners to produce much of the remainder. click here.