A roundup of international coal news from Dec. 11 to Dec. 18.
Sweden and California, along with 24 companies, joined an international alliance whose goal is to move away from coal-fired power generation. The Powering Past Coal Alliance, launched by Canada and the U.K. in November with 27 founding partners, announced it doubled in size in the past month, with the governments of Ethiopia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Tuvalu and Vanuatu also joining during the One Planet Summit held Dec. 12 in Paris. The new business members include Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Marks and Spencer, Unilever and Salesforce and represent a combined wealth of more than $170 billion.
Global financial institution ING is accelerating its plans to slash funding for coal-fired power generation, aiming to reduce its exposure to close to zero by 2025. Effective immediately, the company will support new clients in the utilities sector only if their reliance on coal in their energy mix is 10% or less and they have a strategy to reduce their coal percentage to close to zero by 2025, the company said in a Dec. 12 release.
Ukraine: Ukraine's coal imports from January through November in monetary terms reached $2.43 billion, the bulk of which came from Russia, the UNIAN Information Agency reported Dec. 15, citing the State Fiscal Service of Ukraine. Imports from Russia accounted for 56.4% of total supplies for $1.37 billion, followed by the U.S. at 24.8% for $603.8 million and Canada at 6.2% for $149.9 million. Coal imports from other countries were estimated at $30.7 million in total, the report said.
China: The Chinese government released a five-year plan to shift Northern China heating systems to clean heating for winter to 2021 amid a heating crisis in the country, Reuters reported. The move is part of the country's bid to cut air pollution, but the change from coal to natural gas in northern China this winter has not been successful, with shortages pushing the prices of natural gas up nationwide.
China needs to attract foreign investors to its green bond market if it is to meet aggressive environmental targets, but concerns about the inclusion of some coal assets in the definition of green could make this harder, industry observers say.
Indonesia: Indonesia's state-owned coal miner PT Bukit Asam (Persero) Tbk. intends to invest 6.5 trillion Indonesian rupiah for capital expenditures in 2018, The Jakarta Post reported Dec. 14, citing company president director Arviyan Arifin. The company plans to expand its downstream coal business and construct coal-fired power plants, Arifin said.
India: India's coal imports increased 40% year over year to 19.2 million tonnes in November as utilities stocked up for winter. The growth was largely due to a 4.2 million-tonne rise in thermal coal, the Economic Times reported Dec. 10, citing data from procurement and sales platform mjunction.