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Australia regulator approves extension of coal quotas



Australia`s competition regulator gave interim approval to extend the use of a coal-export quota system at Newcastle, the world`s biggest export harbor for the

fuel, to help prevent an increase in shipping delays.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission separately said it plans to approve a similar system at Dalrymple Bay port in Queensland for 12 months "only," to provide industry with time to develop a solution to tackle the issue of ships waiting outside the port.


Bottlenecks at Australian ports have helped constrain the supply of the fuel to Asian customers, boosting spot prices to a record and increasing costs for mining companies. The two ports both have quota systems to try to better match port and rail capacity with demand. Newcastle`s quota system, known as the

capacity balancing system, or CBS, was due to end on December 31.


Interim authorisation to continue the Newcastle quotas "simply facilitates the continuation of the existing CBS as a means of limiting the queue of ships and consequential costs" as the regulator considers other proposals to manage coal exports at the port, Graeme Samuel, chairman of the Canberra-based

commission, said in the statement.


The regulator last week rejected an alternative plan by the operator of the two coal terminals at Newcastle to change the way export capacity is allocated by basing quotas on rail transportation contracts. The modified plan was backed by Xstrata plc, the world`s biggest power-station coal exporter, and Rio



Port Waratah Coal Services Ltd, the terminal operator, agreed to the interim plan to continue the existing system through to 2008, the group said in a separate e-mailed statement. Under the system, coal producers have export allocations rationed on a pro-rata basis when demand for exports exceeds the capacity

of the coal transportation system from the Hunter Valley mines through to Newcastle port.


"It is hoped that a medium-term solution, if one can be agreed upon mid-next year, will serve the coal chain up until mid-2010," Port Waratah said in the statement. Proposals to extend an existing system to share capacity at the New South Wales port were made by Newcastle Port Corp and Donaldson Coal Pty, the regulator said.


Rio Tinto Group`s Coal & Allied Industries Ltd last month said that without quotas, the line of ships waiting outside Newcastle to load coal could exceed 70-80 by the end of the first quarter, incurring "substantial" costs.


Separately the competition regulator said it isn`t satisfied that the companies involved in coal transportation to and through Dalrymple Bay port are working to tackle the ship queue. The port`s quota system, known as the vessel queue management system or QMS, has been operating for two years so far.


"The ACCC is concerned that the operation of the QMS for an extended period may hinder the development of a long-term solution to address" the bottlenecks, the regulator said, explaining its decision to limit approval for the system to another year.


(Bloomberg, December 20)

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China orders coal exports suspended, struggles to meet shortage

China's Transport Ministry has ordered ports to temporarily stop loading coal for exports as the country struggles to meet domestic needs amid mounting power shortages. read more »



NEWS | Perth, Western Australia, Australia

BHP/Mitsubishi alliance declares force majeure at Queensland coal mines

Heavy flooding has played havoc with central Queensland coalfields. One of the biggest miners in the area, the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance (BMA) joint venture told customers that it has declared a force majeure because of disrupted operations. read more »


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More coal price increases on the way, says senior analyst

The coal price started to soar from the $50-t mark in May 2007, bringing the price to the current $100-t mark.

“For only the fourth time in the past 100 years, we are in the midst of a significant coal price hike, this time driven by strong demand,” says International Energy Agency energy analyst Brian Ricketts....... http://www.miningweekly.co.za/article.php?a_id=124596

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25 January 2008

The global coal Newcastle (spot thermal) index is expected to be updated today.

Last week's listed price was $US89.85.





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With all the coal production shutdowns in South Africa, Australia, and Indonesia, US coal producers could greatly benefit from higher export prices. The US coal producers are the swing suppliers in the seaborne market. ANR, MEE, CNX, JRCC, WLT, and FDG in Canada.

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Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Coking-coal miners in Australia, the world's biggest exporter of the raw material used in steelmaking, may lose at least 10 million metric tons of output because of flooding, Merrill Lynch & Co. said.


That's equal to about 8 percent of Australia's annual coking coal exports, based on 2006 data. This month's weather forced Macarthur Coal Ltd., the world's biggest coal exporter, and Wesfarmers Ltd. to declare force majeure, a legal clause allowing companies to default on delivery commitments due to circumstances beyond their control.


``We calculate at least 10 million tons of coking coal could be lost,'' Merrill analysts including London-based Daniel Fairclough wrote in a report today. With train and port capacity strained, ``there is little or no chance of making up this lost tonnage.''


Producers including BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, the world's biggest coking-coal exporter, are in talks with buyers to set annual prices. International prices for hard coking coal were set at $92 to $98 a ton for the current year, which ends in March. Prices may rise to $160 to $170 a ton, Merrill said.


Merrill had forecast a global annual supply shortfall of 6 million tons before the flooding in Australia. The bigger deficit in supply may constrain global steel production, Merrill said.



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NTPC’s plans to invest in coal assets abroad come in the wake of a $1.3 billion deal by Tata Power Company to buy stakes in two Indonesian mines in April last year. The last couple of years have marked growing concerns among Asian utilities over the security of long-term coal supplies, with other utilities in the Asian region also scouting aggressively for assets in places such as Indonesia and Australia.



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From Moneyweek


Over the last week, the price of coal has soared to a new record.


Thermal coal prices jumped to $116.44 a tonne at Australia's Newcastle port, which is the benchmark coal price for Asia. This represents a staggering rise of $23.09 in just a week. That’s a staggering increase of 25%...!


Not only is demand very high, but the supply chain is in trouble. China’s chilly winter is playing havoc with transport and electricity shortages mean mine output is being hit. The country has therefore declared that it will not export any coal in February and March…



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So, what's the latest sentiment on coal? It's down big, and was dropping even before today's break in oil. Just looking for the thoughts and background ideas from others who have thought it through.


My thoughts: LONG-TERM-

* Tailwind - Global demand and supply fundamentals. Will Europe continue to import from us? Who else?

* Headwind is the carbon issue; will it be penalized? will carbon sequestering be mandatory and thus a massive expense to those

who use coal.....to the point of decreasing demand?

* Wildcard- Coal to Liquid technology seems like it could potentially, maybe, possibly have a place as a supplement; but, I'm just not

sure yet.


This isn't a natural gas thread; but, I feel it plays into the conversation. Natural Gas is not even close to being as plentiful as coal, but it's cleaner. Nat Gas is also a substitute for coal, in many situations. Natural gas is also the largest input cost of most fertilizers, especially nitrogen based. If you believe the story of unlimited increases in agricultural demand, you must believe in fert. and thus natural gas. I mean, why not just go back to the denominator? However, Nat Gas is down like 10% today. I know, it's just one day; so, why even watch. However, 10%....? That's pretty steep.



I am long BTU and CHK today. Thoughts on Coal's future? Thoughts on Nat Gas and it's place as substitute for coal?

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March 20, 2008 MAKING DIRTY POWER GREEN Is Carbon Capture a False Hope for Coal Power?

..............A new study by the TAB likewise comes to the conclusion that the cost of producing electricity using the new technology will nearly double -- instead of costing three to four cents per kilowatt hour, the price tag would rise to between five and seven cents.........................

are these people trying to bring about a recession in the eu! this sort of pottiness (carbon capture) will just drive industry off shore - will hte eu become a nation of hair dressers ruled by a load of incompetent bureaucrats who are unaccountable to anyone?


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UK Coal reported FY07 operating profit up 200% to £82.7m (2006: £27.6m), profit before tax up 292% to £69.0m (2006: £17.6m) compared to £59m expected. EPS up 412% to 59.9p (2006: 11.7p), excluding tax credit, EPS was up 276% to 44.0p (2006: 11.7p). David Jones, Chairman, said: "With a positive outlook for all our businesses, we face the current financial year with considerable confidence."

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Clean Coal was the subject of this BBC Programme:



At a time when we're increasingly concerned about the effects of carbon dioxide emissions on global climate change, it might seem strange to be thinking seriously about coal as a major energy source.


But coal is the fuel of choice for many nations, developed and developing, not least America and China.


It's been estimated that at current levels of usage, global coal reserves will last for more than 150 years.


However, if large amounts of coal are be to be burnt, science and technology need to come up with ways of making coal a more efficient, and less polluting, energy source.


To learn more about how a conventional coal-fired power station works, Peter goes to Nottinghamshire to visit the coal-fired power station at Ratcliffe-on-Soar. The power station, run by E.ON UK, burns 812 tonnes of coal an hour, and provides electricity for about two million people.


Peter talks to engineers at E.ON's research facility, Power Technology. They are developing new technologies that will burn coal more efficiently and, at the same time, make it easier to capture and store carbon dioxide. These include coal gasification and oxyfuel combustion.


Peter hears from Professor Brian Smart at Heriot-Watt University. Professor Smart and colleagues have recently completed a Feasibility Study into Underground Coal Gasification under the Firth of Forth.

Peter also talks to Malcolm Wicks, Minister of State for Energy at the Department of Trade and Industry.

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as usual the bbc fails to ask the awkward qus!!!!!!!!1


1 how much extra coal is needed for the capture and disposal process? this article suggests that 40% is used, so an extra 67% will have ot be used to give the same power output - an obscene waste of good coal


................one 500-megawatt coal-fired power plant ...... produces three million tons of CO2 annually. Adding carbon capture technology to that plant sucks up 40 percent of the power......................

and they havent included tie power neened to dispose of the co2!!


2 where is the co2 going to be stored and how will it get there?


3 what are the extra capital costs of this process ( inludeding the disposal infrastructure)?


4 how much will this increase the cost of power (excluding subsidies)?


5 where will all the pure oxygen come from - who much will the new plant cost? how will teh o2 get to where its needed?


6 by the time the technology is demonstrated to work the credibility of the global warming/co2 hypothesis will probably be seriously waning - and it is only a hypothesis for which there is a rapidly growing body of counter evedence - so why waste resources on such a process?


...........well the answer is the politicians have accepted the hypothesis as fact and have invested too much political capital in the rhetoric to admit thay are wrong - to do so would be suicidal ; so once agsin showing that the lunatics really are in charge of teh asylum!


ps just found this


Expert predicts 50 per cent jump in price of Alberta power generation

Gordon Jaremko , Canwest News Service Sunday, May 25

The cost of generating electricity will jump by 50 per cent if the Alberta government orders the province's coal-fired power stations to stop venting carbon dioxide too quickly, a senior greenhouse gas cleanup specialist predicted Saturday..........more

so you think your electricity bills are too much now......................


and this.............an excellent read - far more informative than the simplistic bbc!


2007 Octobern How to bury the problem

Carbon capture and storage could allow us to burn fossil fuels without climate consequences - but only with more investment in R&D, argues Stuart Haszeldine..............more

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Atlantic Coal - Cheap energy source for the Great Depression.




If anyone is interested, "ATC" on the AIM London Stock Exchange is worth a look at 0.8p






Anthracite home heating clean coal mine in Pennsylvania is about to ramp upto full production in August 2009.


Anthracite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthracite


Anthracite forum http://nepacrossroads.com/


Brokers note http://www.atlanticcoal.com/admin/LatestNe...age21.01.09.pdf




Management have invested alot of their own money in re-organsing a railway track on the mine land, and built a £1m+ washing plant that cleans and sorts the coal. They have just secured funds recently and bought a giant excavator.


The mine has a 4 million ton resource already staked out and are open to acquiring more sites.





Do your own research of course!

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With nuck plants under review in many countrys, the germans have already said thay will be closeing most of theres.


Will coal be making a big comeback?

What about coal in the UK? We still have loads of the stuff.


Will we see new mines opening up in the UK? Or the reopening up of old ones?

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