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Global coal roundup: Peabody eyes expansion in Colombia; China eases usage caps

A roundup of international coal news from Oct. 2 to Oct. 8.

The world will need to quickly slash carbon dioxide emissions and drastically scale up low-carbon infrastructure investments over the next decade to limit and mitigate the impacts of climate change, according to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C would require a "rapid and profound" near-term decarbonization of energy supplies, specifically scaling up renewables and sustainable biomass, the quick deployment of carbon capture and sequestration, leading to a zero-emissions energy supply system by midcentury, the report said.


China: China will not renew significant curbs on coal use and steel production amid a sluggish economy, the Financial Times reported Oct. 1, citing analysts.

China has been waging a war against pollution. In 2017, it mandated that producers in four major production cities halve their output during the winter months and told 28 cities and regions to cut steel and aluminum output by about 50%, the report said. This winter, levels of particulate matter of 2.5 microns, a standard for measuring air pollution, must be cut by 3%, down from the previously proposed 5%, the report said.

India: Coal India Ltd.'s production in the first half of its fiscal 2019, from April to September, totaled 256.5 million tonnes for a 10.6% increase year over year.

The company's coal off-take, meanwhile, grew 8.1% year over year to 290.8 million tonnes in the period, according to an Oct. 1 release. In September, production grew 3.8% to 40.2 million tonnes, while off-take was up 0.8% to 43.9 million tonnes on a yearly basis.


Poland: The Polish government is confident it can build up 8 GW of offshore wind capacity in the next decade or so, but partly to keep its extensive coal-fired power fleet in operation, according to a government official. The country is aiming to keep its current coal power capacity "basically stable" for at least 25 years and aims to still produce 50% of its electricity from coal in 2040, down from 80% now, Piotr Naimski, plenipotentiary for strategic energy infrastructure at Poland's Ministry of Investment and Economic Development, told the BNEF Future of Energy Summit in London on Oct. 2.

South America

Colombia: Peabody Energy Corp. has discussed purchasing Drummond International LLC, which owns and operates Colombian thermal coal mining operations, The Wall Street Journal reported. The potential transaction could be valued between $4 billion and $4.5 billion, according to the report. Should a sale proceed, Peabody would own 80% of Colombia's top coal exporter, while the remaining 20% is owned by Itochu Corp., a Japanese trading house. Drummond Co. Inc. and Itochu formed a joint venture in 2011 to own and operate the Colombian assets.

This feature was updated as of 11:49 a.m. ET on Oct. 8. Some external links may require a subscription.