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Noble Group, Shikoku Electric form Australian thermal coal JV

said March 31 that ithas formed an innovative Australian joint venture with Shikoku Electric Power Co.Inc. that is focused on competitive procurement, sales and risk management of highquality thermal coal for their power stations.

The joint venturewill optimize opportunities arising from the full liberalization of the Japaneseretail electric market. It will benefit from direct involvement in coal-producingcompanies in Australia, as well as access to Noble's long-term equity, marketingand supply agreements, ensuring a stable and reliable supply of high quality coal.

The joint venturewill also actively manage inventories, allowing for risk management and volume flexibilitydepending on actual consumption requirements.