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 US Energy Secretary Rick Perry Applauds North Dakota for Role in Energy Renaissance

US Energy Secretary Rick Perry toured North Dakota coal facilities Monday, August 14, and applauded the state for its role in advancing America's energy security.

"This renaissance of the energy industry in America, North Dakota is right at the tip of the spear," Perry said following a roundtable discussion with energy industry leaders. "You all are playing a very, very important role in a resurgence of America on the global stage." 

 

Energy Secretary Rick Perry, second from left, listened to energy industry leaders Monday during a roundtable discussion at the University of Mary in Bismarck. Also shown are, from left, Rep. Kevin Cramer, Sen. John Hoeven and U-Mary president Rev. James Shea.

Photo by Tom Stromme, Bismarck Tribune

Perry, former Republican governor of Texas, the only state that produces more oil than North Dakota, toured North American Coal's Falkirk Mine and Great River Energy's Coal Creek Station near Underwood.

He later met at the University of Mary in Bismarck with industry executives representing fossil fuels and renewable forms of energy.

"People sometimes think you have to pick between fossil fuels and renewables," Perry said. "North Dakota and Texas prove clearly that we're all-of-the above energy producers. We need the fossil fuels, we need the nuclear energy, we need the renewables that wind and solar bring to the table, and how we manage that in our grid is really important."

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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The One Market That's Sure to Help Coal

As still the world's leading source of electricity (most critically, overwhelmingly so in all-important China and India) at 37-40% of all supply, and still generating 30% of U.S. power, coal is obviously not dead. But beyond electricity, coal is much more essential to another market than the anti-coal business may realize: the very steel that builds our cities. Apparently, unbeknownst to many, the fact that 70-80 million people move to the world's cities each year means that coal's fundamental role in the energy demand system is quite secure. It's no wonder then that global steel demand continues to surge to record highs and expected to increase 20% by 2030. Steel is an indispensable material for modern life. It is utilized in literally every important industry.

Metallurgical coal (also called coking coal) is a higher quality coal than the thermal coal (also called steam coal) that is utilized to generate electricity. It is used primarily in steel making and accounts for 10-15% of global coal usage. About 75% of the world’s steel production uses met coal as a critical ingredient. Here in the U.S., met coal is mostly produced in Appalachia, namely West Virginia.

 

The number of large cities continues to explode.

Data Source: UN; JTC

The ultimate irony? "There's about 150 tonnes of metallurgical coal via steel in an onshore windmill - and 250 tonnes of coal in an offshore one."

Met pricing is usually tied to global economic growth because an expanding economy means more construction which means more steel which in turns means more met coal demand. This means that future economic growth essentially ensures the growth of met coal demand. In the U.S., the proposed $1.5 trillion infrastructure build-out, for instance, is seen as a major boost for met coal because it would increase our demand for steel. Graded a poor D+ by the American Society of Civil Engineers, rebuilding our infrastructure has bipartisan support, yet nobody is talking about how much energy - from all sources - this is going to require.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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 Weekly US Coal Production Reaches New 2018 Peak

Weekly US coal production totaled an estimated 15.9 million st in the week that ended Saturday, up 6.2% from the prior week and 0.9% from the year-ago week, according to US Energy Information Administration data, released Thursday.

The most recently concluded week showed a production peak for the year so far, along with a year-high for combined production from Wyoming and Montana.

Coal production in Wyoming and Montana, which is mostly made up of production from the Powder River Basin, was an estimated 7.4 million st, up 7% from last week, but down 2.3% from the year-ago week.

On an annualized basis, production in the two states would total 338.6 million st, down 3.7% from last year.

In Central Appalachia, weekly coal production totaled an estimated 2 million st, up 3.6% from last week and up 17% from last year. Annualized production would total 96.5 million st, up 5.4% from 2017.

Weekly coal production in Northern Appalachia totaled an estimated 2 million st, up 6.8% from last week and 7.9% compared with last year. Annualized production would total 99.5 million st, down 5.3% from last year.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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US CAPP Export Coal Tight, Prices Come Off For High Sulfur NAPP, IB Coal

As US domestic coal markets continue to deal with low demand on account of cheap natural gas, exports remain a viable outlet thanks to strong overseas demand.

This year, exports of both thermal and metallurgical coal could make up as much as 16% of total production, which would be an all-time high, said a prominent market analyst at an industry conference earlier this week.

By comparison, when exports peaked in 2012 at 114.2 mt, it made up 12.4% of US coal production that year.

This year, total coal exports would total 105 million mt on an annualized basis, of which 47.6 million mt would be thermal coal.

In addition, the opportunity looks like it has some legs. At current Cal 19 prices, US coal would still be competitive into seaborne markets, said the analyst.

India, in particular, has developed into a strong market for US coal, where buyers have reported to have developed "a taste" for high CV Northern Appalachia coal, said a second market analyst this week.

A US trader was offering NAPP coal on a 6,900 kcal/kg NAR basis at $82.50/mt FOB. No major concerns were reported at US East Coast export terminals, with a European trader adding the situation was essentially unchanged.

The US trader reported an offer at $112.50/mt FRI Krishnapatnam, pegging dry bulk freight for a Panamax-sized vessel on the route at $30/mt.

In the Central Appalachia market, traders said CAPP coal has been hard to come by in the CIF ARA market owing to the stronger domestic market.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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 Trump Ran to Help Coal Country — And the Numbers Are Coming In

In 2016, while Hillary Clinton was running to “put coal miners and coal companies out of business,” then-candidate Donald Trump was pledging to save the industry. And as Bloomberg is now reporting, he may be on the verge of succeeding.

Though western ports are still reticent to allow coal through their terminals, European exports are still robust. Shipments of coal used by power stations are expecting to jump a whopping 58 percent by the end of the year. A London-based research firm expects that number to continue to climb through 2025.

They also expect diversification into Asian markets. That trend is in part driven by Japan's renewed commitment to the fuel. After their recent nuclear disaster, Japan has built eight new coal-fired plants in the last two years. Still more reassuring to those in the coal community is the country's plan to add an additional 36 plants in the next ten years.

Domestic demand continues to slow, but the current administration has been able to offset that with increased exports. The Trump administration is also assessing a plan to assist struggling domestic coal-fired plants to compete with heavily subsidized renewable energy sources.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

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