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Bens Creek Starts Delivering Metallurgical Coal Ahead of Plan

North America-focused metallurgical coal miner Bens Creek Group announced on Monday that, following discussions with its offtake partner Integrity Coal Sales of New York, it had started the sale and delivery of metallurgical coal.

The AIM-traded firm said the initial agreed volume was to deliver the equivalent of 8,840 clean tons of ‘Hi Vol B’ coal.

Payment for the initial delivery was expected to be made over the next 10 days.

The company said the early delivery of metallurgical coal to Integrity accelerated its generation of revenue by more than one month, and started the fulfilment of the requirement under the offtake agreement announced on 21 October, which provides for the delivery of 22,000 clean tons per month.

“I am delighted to announce that Bens Creek has commenced delivery of production to the metallurgical markets ahead of schedule,” said chief executive officer Adam Wilson.

“This speaks well of the company and its wider production team, which has helped us to develop and mine a dormant reserve within a short period of time.

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Allegiance Coal Announces Black Warrior Coal Test Results

Allegiance Coal Ltd has announced the first set of results from the carbonisation tests undertaken on the Black Warrior Mine’s premium Mary Lee and Blue Creek coking coals.

Black Warrior Carbonisation Tests

The first test was a 50:50 blend of Mary Lee and Blue Creek, which the company is selling as a blended product. These two coal seams share the same properties and variously throughout the Black Warrior Basin come together as a single coal seam. They are typically sold together under the ‘Blue Creek’ brand.

The large scale semi-industrial carbonisation test undertaken in a moveable wall oven at DMT Germany, delivered a CSR result of 61% making it comparable with high vol A hard coking coals from the US.

Two additional carbonisation tests will be undertaken on each of the Mary Lee and Blue Creek seams individually purely for coal quality data purposes.

The two sold Black Warrior cargos of Mary Lee Blue Creek were priced at a discount to high-vol B indices at the time of each sale due to the lack of respected laboratory data to support coke strength.

Notwithstanding this, the company was very pleased with the prices achieved in those sales but are now in a position to negotiate pricing linked to high vol A indices for future sales, which as of week commencing 3 January 2022 was trading at US$340/t FOB US East Coast.

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

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CO2 Storage Project in America's Coal Country One Step Closer to Becoming a Reality

A second deep test well for site characterization is being drilled near Basin Electric’s Dry Fork Station near Gillette, in Wyoming, where the CarbonSAFE program is working to determine the suitability of the underground geological formations for commercial-scale carbon dioxide storage.

Led by the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER), in collaboration with Basin Electric Power Cooperative, CarbonSAFE’s drilling campaign is expected to relay valuable information to fully characterize a second carbon storage site in the top coal-producing state in the US.

In detail, the development is taking place within the Wyoming Integrated Test Center, a facility that provides space for researchers to test, in a real-life setting, carbon capture, utilization and sequestration technologies using 20 MW of actual coal-based flue gas, which is a combination of ambient air, water vapour and carbon dioxide. This is about 5% of the total flue gas emitted at Dry Fork.



CarbonSAFE is drilling a second deep test well for site characterization near the Dry Fork Station, pictured here.

Image by Basin Electric, Facebook

 

Phase 2 of CarbonSAFE investigated the storage complex feasibility with the drilling of a test well at the site and a 3D geophysical survey. The well was completed at a total depth of 9,873 feet, and 625 feet of core samples from nine different geological formations were collected for analysis, which has now been concluded.

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The Loss of Dispatchable Fuel Diversity Reverberates in Europe

U.S. coal generation came roaring back last year, rebounding 17% from 2020 and grabbing market share from higher priced natural gas. The U.S. coal fleet is proving to be an invaluable price shock absorber amid energy-driven inflation here at home and coal is also an equally important missing price shock absorber in Europe.

The U.S. hasn’t been immune to higher energy prices – with the U.S. Energy Information Administration pointing to rising natural gas prices as driving higher wholesale rates – but the pain for U.S. consumers hasn’t come close to the shock now facing European households.

The European energy crisis – driven largely by soaring natural gas prices and the unfortunate unavailability of renewable power at key moments – has seen wholesale electricity prices jump 300% since last winter. Households are set to pay an average of 54% more for energy than they did two years ago, according to Bank of America. The average European residential consumer will spend 1,850 euros ($2,095) on energy this year, up from 1,200 euros in 2020, an eye-watering increase despite government assistance. And that’s the average—price increases in some nations, such as the U.K., will be far higher.

So painful are soaring bills in Britain that some utilities (unbelievably) are recommending cuddling the cat to stay warm since many consumers won’t be able to afford turning up the thermostat. Eat porridge and other complex carbohydrates one note suggests because they take longer to digest and create more body heat in the process. This may all seem surreal in the year 2022 but the sobering reality is that millions are having to choose between soaring energy bills and other necessities, and they’re doing so because of glaring policy missteps.  

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Net-Negative CO2 Baseload Coal Generation

By Steven E. Winberg, Former Assistant Secretary for DOE, Office of Fossil Energy and Chair & CEO, Net-Negative CO2 Baseload Power, Inc.

Steve Winberg

As we go into the new year, there are even more compelling reasons to bring coal into the public policy debate.  Energy prices have skyrocketed around the world, rolling blackouts are frequently discussed as the new norm, and now there are riots in Kazakhstan over high energy prices, with troops being ordered to “kill without warning”.  In the U.S., gasoline prices remain high; Texas and California have recently seen major disruptions in their electricity supply linked to systemic infrastructure issues; and natural gas prices have steeply increased.  Due to high energy prices and low electricity reserves, coal saw a remarkable comeback in 2021 that will likely continue into 2022.  However, as the world clamors to keep the lights on, and do so at reasonable cost, climate change concerns are causing many to turn their back on coal.  We can reconcile the world’s thirst for affordable, reliable energy, and address environmental concerns, with Net-Negative CO2 Coal Technology.  Net-Negative CO2 Coal Technology involves retrofitting existing coal plants with CCUS (carbon capture, storage and utilization) and using a coal/biomass blend as fuel.  This converts existing coal plants, which are otherwise CO2 emitters and frequently targeted for premature retirement, into coal plants with net-negative CO2 emissions.

In Saturday’s Wall Street Journal (January 8, 2022), there is a major story on the California need for “firm power” and that CO2 -neutral nuclear power could meet this need.  The story identifies a recent study by the Environmental Defense Fund and Clean Air Task Force concluding that California needs not just ‘’clean energy’’, but also “firm energy” or electricity sources that “don’t depend on the weather”.  The same discussion on the need for “firm power” should include Net-Negative CO2 Coal Plants.  With an existing fleet of western U.S. coal plants standing ready to supply firm power into California and other markets, these plants could be retrofitted with technology to address concerns about their CO2 emissions.  Using the coal fleet’s existing infrastructure in this way is a far better solution than premature retirement of these plants and building new nuclear infrastructure from scratch.  Solution-focused environmentalists should consider this pragmatic approach to address “firm power” needs and CO2 emission concerns.

In 2008, coal consumption for electricity generation in the United States peaked at close to 1 billion tpy.  Today, consumption levels are approximately half of that.  With the drop in consumption, and thus production, coal states have seen significant job losses, and the reliability of the nation’s electricity grid has become compromised due to insufficient firm baseload power.  The nation does not need to lose the energy and economic benefits of the remaining coal fleet through premature retirements.  There is a better path forward that can ensure firm baseload power while addressing climate change concerns.  This should be part of the ongoing policy discussions in Congress and in the States. 

The first step is to establish an incentive-based (not regulatory-based) federal program to retrofit the existing coal fleet to use a coal/biomass blend as fuel and install CCUS (carbon, capture, utilization and storage).  Existing transmission lines, transformers and other power infrastructure can continue to provide our nation with affordable electricity.  One significant additional benefit, while perhaps ironic, is that these net-negative CO2 coal plants will help the Biden Administration meet its aggressive climate targets. 

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

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