Power, Coal and Electricity
Dec 02 - China orders coal mines to conduct safety overhaul
China has ordered all of the country's coal mines to conduct a safety overhaul in the past month, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday, citing the deputy director of the country's work safety watchdog. Mines should not be operating over capacity and miners should not be asked to work overtime as mines pushed to the limits are prone to accidents, Song Yuanming, deputy director of the State Administration of Coal Mine Safety, said at an annual coal trade summit in Hebei province, Xinhua reported.Click here to read full stories.
Dec 01 - Mongolia surge helps lift China Oct coal imports - customs
China's imports of coal from Mongolia more than tripled in October from the same month a year before, customs data showed, reflecting tight supply in the domestic market that stoked much bigger shipments from foreign producers to meet demand.Output from domestic miners has been shrinking as a result of China's campaign to cut back overcapacity in its coal industry. That helped overall coal imports last month climb 55 percent to 21.58 million tonnes - a number likely to add urgency to a new push by Beijing calling on miners to raise output. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 23 - Trump keeping 'open mind' on pulling out of climate accord
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was keeping an open mind on whether to pull out of a landmark international accord to fight climate change, in a softening of his stance toward global warming. Trump told the New York Times in an interview that he thinks there is "some connectivity" between human activity and global warming, despite previously describing climate change as a hoax.
Nov 22 - Electricity cross-border flows: Squeezed French supply margins remain top concern (ICIS)
France remained the focal point of the development of cross-border physical flows across Europe in October, extending a pattern that has been the theme of the second half of 2016. Further revisions to the availability of the country’s nuclear fleet, coupled with sub-average temperatures, resulted in France being one of the smallest net exporters in the region. Early flows and trading data suggest the trend will once again continue into November.
In other parts of Europe, markets faced increasing pressure from falling temperatures while some plant outages affected countries such as Switzerland and the UK. However their impact on the movement of power across borders was overshadowed by the developments in France. This was reflected in European spot prices with France frequently recording the highest values.
French net flows to reverse?
France was barely a net exporter in October with net outbound flows falling to their lowest level this year with 0.7GW/hour. This was a significant monthly fall of 65% and a yearly decline of 81%.
Unravelling nuclear availability heaped the pressure on France. On the final day of October nuclear availability reached a historic low of 41.4GW, or 65% of total capacity. Supply problems were also compounded by poor hydro availability while the demand-side was boosted by dropping temperatures. At present there are no signs that these trends will reverse significantly in the near term and this may lead to France switching to being net importer across all borders more consistently.
Empowered by the deteriorating margins, France imported power from Germany and Spain which reversed the direction of flows month on month. This is the first time this year that France has imported from both countries on a monthly basis.
A notable exception was along the French-Swiss border where France managed to increase net exports despite its own supply concerns. This was because nuclear availability in Switzerland was also severely restricted. Outages meant that available nuclear capacity was just above 50% for most of the month (see EDEM 17 October 2016). Hydropower generation and higher import volumes will be needed to overcome the subsequent shortfalls.
Elsewhere the other large net exporters, Germany and the Czech Republic, recorded an uptick in outbound flows. Germany was aided by stronger thermal generation and higher wind output while returning nuclear capacity supported Czech margins.
Net importers demand more
The net exporters of southern and southeastern Europe drew in more power from their northwestern neighbours at the start of the winter period.
Italy, the largest net importer of the region, saw net imports more than double month on month to 3.1GW/hour. Squeezed margins in northern Italy resulted in comparatively higher prices when compared to the country’s northern neighbours and resulted in higher imports. Internal restrictions meant that this could easily be offset by drawing power from southern Italy.
Meanwhile Hungarian net inbound flows climbed 17% month on month to 1.4GW/hour. Nuclear capacity was reduced from 17 October following a 500MW outage to the Paks plant.
Nov 22 - Will coal price retreat be a Dunkirk or Stalingrad?: Russell
It may be a tad early to call a peak in the price of thermal coal in top-consuming region Asia, but at the very least the momentum seems to have been lost from a commodity that has surged some 130 percent in the past 10 months. If coal prices have already peaked, the question is which of the World War II battles of Dunkirk or Stalingrad will the retreat most resemble. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 22 - Canada speeds up plan to phase out coal power, targets 2030
Canada will speed up plans to virtually eliminate traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, the government said on Monday, a stance contrasting sharply with that of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, who has pledged to revive the sector. Canada's Liberal government ran on a platform to do more for the environment. Its coal-cutting plan would help it meet the emissions reduction targets of the Paris agreement, which Parliament ratified last month. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 21 - Tidal power developers bet on sea change in Indonesia renewables sector
A well-connected Indonesian marine renewable energy company and OpenHydro, a unit of French state-owned naval defence company DCNS, aim to be the first to plug into the vast untapped tidal energy potential of the world's biggest archipelago. Renewables have so far played little part in Indonesia's power sector, despite the country sitting on the world's biggest geothermal reserves and being bathed in sunshine, crowded out by an abundance of cheap coal and bureaucratic bottlenecks. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 17 - Coal: After the surge, how low can it go?
A wave that has lifted some coal prices to more than double in the last six months may be about to ebb away, turned back by China's move to loosen the restrictions on domestic mining that first triggered the fuel's rise. Australian Newcastle cargo prices, Asia's benchmark, have fallen 7.8 percent in November already, slipping to $105.75 per tonne from almost $115 at the start of the month, their highest since 2012. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 16 - Wesfarmers seeks coal exit in sellers' market as prices soar
Australian conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd is weighing a sale of its coal mines following an unexpected price surge that is turning coal into one of this year's hottest commodities. "Wesfarmers is continuing to consider a broad range of options, from operational to divestment initiatives, including recently seeking expressions of interest from external parties who may want to acquire the coal assets," it said in a statement. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 14 - China coal output extends decline despite govt call to reopen mines
China's October coal output fell 12 percent compared with a year earlier, data showed on Monday, even after the government gave operators the go-ahead to ramp up output and reopen mines in a bid to top up power producers' inventories ahead of winter. With the restart of shuttered mines taking time to kick in, the drop highlights concerns about tight supplies in the world's top consumer and producer of the fossil fuel, a factor that has fuelled a nearly year-long rally in thermal coal prices. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 11 - China coal fumble casts doubt on its global commodities pricing goal
Unprecedented steps by Beijing to snuff out a months-long rally in coal prices are casting fresh doubts on China's drive to become a global price-setting hub for commodities worth trillions of dollars. The world's top consumer of many raw materials has been pushing to boost its influence on pricing of everything from iron ore to oil, mainly through steps such as promoting Chinese futures contracts as regional or global benchmarks. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 09 - Under govt pressure, China's top coal miners to cut long-term prices
China's state economic planner said two of the nation's top coal mines signed long-term supply contracts with utilities at a quarter below current spot market rates, as the government ramps up its efforts to cool the red-hot market. Shenhua Energy Co and ChinaCoal Energy Co agreed to sell their coal at 535 yuan ($79) per tonne under long-term deals which start as soon as Dec. 1, Xu Kunlin, vice secretary general of the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC), said at a briefing on Wednesday.
Nov 08 - French nuclear crunch causes European CCGT gas demand surge (ICIS)
- Demand for gas in power generation at many key European gas hubs surged in October, in response to nuclear supply problems in France and favourable clean spark spreads. This was a key factor in pushing Day-ahead contracts at many European gas hubs around 40% higher month on month.
- The main factor behind gas-fired generation demand rocketing in October was a series of outages at French nuclear generation facilities, which are the country’s dominant source for electricity. These supply concerns led to spikes in many European wholesale power markets.
- Looking ahead, the French Nuclear Safety Authority has said that four reactors will be taken offline between mid-December and mid-January, meaning nuclear availability will be restricted during a key demand period. A fifth reactor has already been taken offline.
- The supply crunch has impacted not only France, but neighbouring markets, and caused gas-fired generation in surrounding countries to ramp up in order to fill the supply gap.
- The combined-cycle gas turbine (CCGT) demand increase was a key factor in higher Day-ahead contracts at many European gas hubs, including the British NBP, Dutch TTF and French PEG Nord. Most Day-ahead contracts leapt by around 40% in October, with the TTF surging from €12.56/MWh on 3 October to €16.925/MWh on 28 October.
- Other factors contributing to the price rises included lower than normal temperatures across much of northern Europe, low send-out from British LNG terminals and uncertainty over British gas storage.
Nov 08 - China's rising coal generation is both a right and wrong step: Russell
China's future use of polluting coal for electricity shows the difficulty of dealing with news that presents multiple facts, thus allowing some to be highlighted over others. The National Energy Administration (NEA) announced on Monday its latest five-year plan for China's power market, and the anticipated mix of generation capacity. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 07 - China to cap coal at 55 pct of total power output by 2020 - NEA
China aims to cap coal-fired power capacity at 1,100 gigawatts by 2020, higher than the current ceiling but accounting for less of the country's total power supply as the top global energy market seeks to increase the use of cleaner renewable fuels. Announcing its five-year plan for the power industry, the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Monday said China aimed to have 2,000 gigawatts of electricity generating capacity by 2020, of which at least 320 gigawatts would come from solar and wind power and 110 gigawatts from natural gas.
Nov 04 - Mitsubishi CFO says expects a big drop in coking coal prices
Japan's Mitsubishi Corp sees the recent surge in coking coal prices as temporary and expects to see a big drop, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Kazuyuki Masu said on Friday. "It's abnormal to see such a spike. If the coal prices could surge this much in a short period, they could drop the same way," he told a news conference. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 04 - Glencore cleared to extend life of Australian coal mine to 2031
Glencore Plc said on Friday it has won approval from the New South Wales state government to extend the life of its Mount Owen coal complex in Australia by 12 years to 2031. The complex, which includes the Mount Owen and Glendell mines, produced 8.07 million tonnes of saleable thermal coal for power stations and semi-soft coking coal for steel mills last year. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 04 - Japan's beleaguered utilities seek salvation in trading
Forced into action by falling customers due to market liberalization and a shrinking population, Japan's utilities are ditching old long-term coal and gas supply contracts in favour of more short-term, opportunistic trading. The move represents a sea change for the traditionally risk averse utilities as they seek to cut costs, but will make life harder for liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers who have relied on long-term sales to underwrite costly new projects and expansions. Click here to read full stories.
Nov 03 - France's Engie to shut Australia's dirtiest power plant
France's Engie said it will close Australia's dirtiest coal-fired power station in March 2017 as further investments in the ageing Hazelwood plant cannot be justified, and will look to sell two other Australian power plants. The long-anticipated move to close Hazelwood is the latest in a string of closures of coal-fired power stations in Australia amid a push toward cleaner energy and a drop in demand that has driven down electricity prices.Click here to read full stories.
Nov 02 - As first cold snap of winter grips China, utilities face coal crunch
As the first major cold snap of the winter grips northern China this week, utilities are desperately trying to overcome a shortage of the coal they need to produce power as customers crank up heating to fight the chill. With coal inventories languishing below 20 days of use, well under the five-year average, power companies will be forced to stick with their record pace of imports for the rest of the year, stoking an unprecedented rally that has seen international prices more than double in 2016.
Nov 02 - China's coal imports surge again, but how long can the party last?: Russell
China's imports of coal from the seaborne market surged again in October, thereby justifying the jump in prices but also raising questions as to how much more of the fuel the world's top buyer can suck in.Seaborne coal imports were 20.03 million tonnes for October, according to vessel-tracking and port data compiled by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain and Commodity Forecasts.
Nov 01 - Glencore to restart Australia coal mine as prices surge
Glencore said on Tuesday it would restart a coking coal mine in southeastern Australia that was shuttered more than two years ago, with a resurgence in prices for the commodity breathing new life into the sector. Less than a year after the coal industry was declared to be in terminal decline, markets for coal used to generate power and make steel have surged - boosted by moves in China to mine less of its own coal and import more. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 31 - Coal price rally comes to the rescue of commodity trading giants
An unprecedented surge in coal prices in the past few months to more than double their June levels is a big fillip for Glencore and Noble, who are among the biggest traders of thermal coal, which is used to produce electricity. They are taking advantage of their mine production, storage facilities and shipping fleets to provide users of coal with cargoes at short notice and at premium prices, sources familiar with recent deals told Reuters. They are also striking longer-term supply deals, also on rich terms, the sources said.
Oct 27 - China's Zhengzhou coal sinks as fee hikes trigger exodus
China's Zhengzhou coal futures sank almost 5 percent on Thursday and were on track for their biggest daily fall after a series of fee hikes by the exchange triggered an exodus of speculative cash, bringing an abrupt end to an historic rally.At 11:38 a.m. (0338 GMT), the most-active January contract was down 4.74 percent at 611.6 yuan ($90.25) per tonne after hitting an all-time high in the previous session. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 27 - Adani readies coal mine as Australia looks to curb green challenges
India's Adani Enterprises is preparing to start construction of a $7 billion coal mine in Australia in 2017 despite years of legal delays and rollercoaster coal prices, the conglomerate said on Wednesday."We are on schedule to start construction in the third quarter (of next year)," Adani spokesman Ron Watson said, although he added that billions of dollars in financing were still required, along with clearance from water authorities. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 20 - Coal exporters wary of end to Chinese benevolence: Russell
The problem with coal's spectacular rally this year is that it's largely a Chinese political phenomenon, and what Chinese politicians give they can just as easily take away. Australian thermal coal spot cargoes at Newcastle port for November this week breached $100 a tonne for the first time in 4-1/2 years, closing on Tuesday at $102.20 and taking this year's rally to almost 120 percent. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 19 - U.S. coal industry hopes for respite after perfect storm: Kemp
U.S. coal producers have been struck by a range of structural and cyclical factors that hit consumption hard and forced many of them to seek bankruptcy protection during 2015 and 2016. The problem of excess coal production and stocks built up gradually throughout 2014 and 2015 but the warm winter of 2015/16 pushed the industry into a crisis. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 13 - China goes on unexpected commodities binge even as concerns linger
China went on an unexpectedly big buying spree for crude oil, coal and iron ore last month, customs data showed on Thursday, even as Beijing cools its overheated property market and concerns linger about the health of the world's No. 2 economy. Daily crude imports hit an all-time high as the nation again overtook the United States as the world's top oil consumer, while iron ore imports were the second highest on record, propelling Shanghai rebar steel futures to five-week highs.
Oct 12 - Glencore to hire coal miners as prices rebound on Asia demand
Glencore will hire more than 200 workers at its Collinsville coal mine in Australia after scaling back its payroll earlier this year, amid resurgent demand for coal in Asia, the company said on Tuesday."We are now seeing increased demand from Southeast Asia for the specific type of coal produced by Collinsville," the company said.
Oct 11 - Nuclear uncertainty in France a long-term market issue - traders (ICIS)
- The French market needs to be prepared for longer nuclear maintenance periods in the years ahead, according to traders. Whereas the sharp drop in nuclear availability in the third quarter of 2016 may be unusual, a decline compared to previous years is likely given the age of most French nuclear reactors. “Even EDF has said as much and we are starting to see the consequences now,” one trader said.
- Equipment needs to be replaced more frequently and stringent safety requirements means that components could be delayed, as nuclear authority ASN imposes additional checks.
- This problem has already been demonstrated in the replacement of steam generators, which are susceptible to the same issue of high carbon content in the composition of the steel as the nuclear vessel at the new 1.65GW reactor at Flamanville.
- Demonstrating that the nuclear vessel is still viable despite the carbon content has proven difficult and protracted. The methodology was approved by France’s nuclear safety authority ASN on 12 December but the completion of the final safety case is not expected before the end of 2016, after EDF announced in April that further tests were needed.
- Of the 87 irregularities in safety documentation identified by Areva during an audit initiated last year, one concerns a new steam generator destined for reactor 5 at the Gravelines nuclear plant. The reactor is now scheduled to be offline for almost 12 months and is one of four reactors to be unavailable this winter.
- ASN is also still carrying out its analysis of irregularities of existing steam generators at reactor 5 at Bugey and reactor 2 at Fessenheim. The latter has had its serviceability certificate withdrawn, and EDF and Areva decided to carry out a programme of tests to have the suspension lifted.
- The longest maintenance period concerns reactor 2 at Paluel, where an incident, which occurred during the replacement of a steam generator, is now expected to keep it offline for over two years.
- A steam generator was also at fault during the longest maintenance period of 2015, when an insufficient safety case was submitted to ASN and kept the reactor offline for over 10 months.
- “The problem with issues like this is that you never know how long it’s going to last,” a second trader said. “We saw this least year in Belgium that it can take a long time to recover.”
- Two nuclear reactors at the Doel and Tihange nuclear power plants were offline from March 2014 after cracks were detected in the nuclear vessels. The green light to restart was only given in November 2015, demonstrating the potential time period involved in carrying out extensive tests and building up a safety case.
- “The uncertainty is adding to a general bullish mood, with risk premium spreading all across the curve,” a third trader said. “Anticipating nuclear availability has become a lottery and sellers on the fuel markets appear to be holding back in anticipation of even higher prices.”
- Weak nuclear availability in France is expected to boost demand for coal- and gas-fired generation in several European countries.
Oct 11 - China appears to push back on U.S. bid to choke N.Korea coal exports
China appears to have pushed back on a U.S. bid to close a U.N. loophole that allows North Korea to export coal for "livelihood purposes," saying the well-being of North Koreans is a priority in negotiations on possible new U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang. Since North Korea's fifth and largest nuclear test four weeks ago, the United States and China, a close ally of North Korea, have been negotiating a new draft Security Council resolution to punish Pyongyang. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 06 - Coal rises from the ashes, rally to last until 2017
Talk of coal's demise is proving premature, with prices soaring from 10-year lows this year and further rises on the cards into 2017 as the "dirty" fuel continues to be very much in demand for power generation. A global push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in favour of renewable energy has seen investors and funds ditch coal assets for cleaner sources. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 06 - Rains disrupt coal deliveries to Colombia's Puerto Nuevo export terminal
Coal deliveries to Colombia's Atlantic export terminals have been disrupted by heavy rains, further tightening a market that has already seen prices sky-rocket this year. Extremely heavy rainfall in Colombia's Caribbean coastal provinces, where almost all the country's coal mines and export terminals are located, has interfered with deliveries to the port, coal traders and shippers said.
Oct 04 - Coal prices hit 30-month high as Newcastle cargoes surge over $80
Key thermal coal prices have jumped to fresh two-and-a-half year highs as stricter rules in China for transporting the world's most important power generation fuel add to the impact of earlier Chinese caps on coal mining.Coal prices began to soar after China introduced regulations to rein in rampant overcapacity in April, limiting the numbers of days that miners can operate. Click here to read full stories.
Oct 04 - Canada unveils carbon price, energy-producing provinces unhappy
Canada's federal government on Monday vowed to bring in a minimum price on carbon emissions by 2018, prompting one energy-producing province to threaten legal action and another to demand approval of an oil pipeline in return.Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who took power last November promising to do more to protect the environment, said carbon pollution would cost C$10 a tonne in 2018, rising by C$10 a year until it reaches C$50 in 2022.
Sep 30 - Brazil's Vale agrees to new terms with Mitsui for coal mine stake
Vale SA said on Thursday it has agreed to new terms for the sale of stakes in a coal mine and railway project in Mozambique to shareholder Mitsui & Co, in a deal that will raise $768 million and could help Vale free up to $2.7 billion in funding commitments for both projects. The sale of Vale's stakes in the Moatize coal mine and the Nacala Corridor railway and port hinge on the approval of a project finance plan, Rio de Janeiro-based Vale said in a statement. The deal reworks terms of a prior accord over the mine and the infrastructure project.
Sep 28 - EDF board confirms approval for Hinkley Point decision
The board of French state-controlled utility EDF on Tuesday confirmed its approval to go ahead with the Hinkley Point nuclear project in Britain, EDF said in a statement.EDF Chief Executive and chairman of the board Jean-Bernard Levy had submitted the project to a vote again after the British government earlier this month imposed limits on EDF's right to sell its two-third stake in the project. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 23 - China's state planner to meet with coal industry on supply, prices
China has called regulators and company executives from the country's major coal producing regions to an "urgent" meeting on Friday, the second in as many weeks as Beijing tries to overhaul the industry while maintaining supplies to major consumers.China is trying to cut inefficient coal production as part of efforts to reduce pollution and trim excess capacity. But tighter supplies and increased consumption during the summer have pushed up prices. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 23 - Goldman lifts coal price view after frenzied rally on China's reform push
Goldman Sachs has sharply raised its price forecasts for coking coal for the next two years, after this year's frenzied rally fuelled by a shortage in China that should revive idled mines from Mozambique to the United States. China's push to tackle a coal glut by imposing a 276-day cap on domestic coal mines earlier this year created a significant deficit, lifting the country's coking coal imports by 18 percent over January to August. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 22 - China's major coal producers start raising output - media
Major Chinese coal producers have started raising production, the China Securities Journal reported on Wednesday, unleashing up to 15 million tonnes of new supply each month onto the market and potentially derailing a sharp rally in prices this year.The move followed a meeting earlier this month to draw up a draft proposal that would allow miners to raise daily output by 500,000 tonnes if prices hit 500 yuan ($74.94) per tonne for two weeks. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 22 - China Aug coal imports from Australia up 35 pct on yr - customs
Chinese imports of coal from Australia increased 35.2 percent in August from a year earlier, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed on Thursday, reflecting strong demand as Beijing cuts back inefficient domestic mines.On Wednesday, benchmark Australian Newcastle coal prices hit their highest since March last year at $73.60 a tonne, boosted by soaring Asian consumption. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 19 - Most U.S. states on track to meet emissions targets they call burden
The 27 states challenging Obama’s Clean Power Plan in court say the lower emissions levels it would impose are an undue burden. But most are likely to hit them anyway.Already, Arkansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and South Dakota appear to be meeting the CPP's early targets. And changes in the power market, along with policies favoring clean generation, are propelling most of the rest toward timely compliance, according to researchers, power producers and officials, as well as government filings reviewed by Reuters. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 16 - GE wins $1.9 bln order from UK's Hinkley Point nuclear plant
General Electric Co said it will receive $1.9 billion for a contract to supply steam turbines, generators and other equipment to the Hinkley Point C project, the United Kingdom's first new nuclear power plant in decades. By approving Hinkley Point on Thursday, the UK government cleared the way for GE to begin building two 1,770-megawatt Arabelle steam turbines and generators capable of powering six million homes and supplying about 7 percent of the UK's power generation needs for 60 years, GE said. They will replace older coal-fired plants, GE said. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 13 - Arch Coal agrees on mine cleanup coverage plan to exit bankruptcy
U.S. coal miner Arch Coal has agreed to set aside collateral to cover future mine cleanup costs as part of its bankruptcy reorganization plan, according to a court filing, ending its controversial use of "self-bonds."For decades the largest U.S. coal companies have used a federal subsidy known as "self-bonding," which exempts companies from posting bonds or other securities to cover the cost of returning mined land to its natural state, as required by law. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 12 - Australian coal soars to premium of more than $10 over Europe
A 40-percent rally since June in prices for Australian thermal coal due to a jump in Chinese imports has pushed its premium over Europe to more than $10, offering miners with easy access to the Atlantic and Pacific basins opportunities for arbitrage.Australian cargoes from its Newcastle terminal, a benchmark for Asia/Pacific, currently cost $70 per tonne, levels last seen over a year ago. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 09 - Hungry for power, Myanmar bets on hydro in new energy plan
Electricity-starved Myanmar is looking to overhaul its long-term power strategy, aiming to hike the planned share of hydropower in its energy mix at the cost of polluting coal as it tries to attract foreign investment.The new democratically-elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi has made job creation one of its top priorities in what is Asia's sixth-poorest country. However, with half of its people without access to electricity and major cities experiencing blackouts, finding investors is tough. Even tougher is getting them to back coal-fired plants given environmental concerns. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 06 - Coal leads surge in European energy exchange trading in first half 2016 - study
Coal lead a surge in trading volumes on west European energy exchanges in the first half of this year as traders took advantage of low commodity prices, research company Prospex said on Monday.Wholesale trading of coal on the exchanges soared 46 percent from a year earlier to 3.5 billion tonnes, according to Prospex. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 05 - No imminent UK decision on Chinese-backed nuclear plan as PM May heads to China
Prime Minister Theresa May will not announce her keenly awaited decision on a partly-Chinese funded nuclear power project in the coming days, a British official said on Saturday as May flew to China to meet President Xi Jinping at her first G20 summit.May will make her major international summit debut on Sunday after Britain's shock vote in June to leave the European Union ousted her predecessor David Cameron and thrust her into control of the world's fifth-largest economy. Click here to read full stories.
Sep 01 - China's Inner Mongolia cuts coal output by 10 pct in Jan-July
Inner Mongolia, China's biggest coal producing region, cut its output of the commodity by just over 10 percent in the first seven months of the year as part of its efforts to close 3.3 million tonnes of capacity this year. By the end of August, the region had shut seven coal mines, Wang Binjun, the director of Inner Mongolia's Economic and Information Commission, was cited as saying by local state media. The region plans to close a total of 65 mines by 2020 to curb crippling overcapacity in the sector.
Aug 31 - Glencore restarts Australia coal mine after fatality
Glencore said it was gradually restarting operations at its Newlands coal mine in Australia on Thursday, after a worker died at the site two days earlier. "The restart began today and will take place in a staged manner in both maintenance and production areas," a Glencore spokeswoman said.
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.