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Weekly coal news highlights: 10 – 15 January 2016

Published by
World Coal,

Coal mining and production

  • Whitehaven’s Narrabri coal mine achieved annual record production of 8.3 million t ROM coal in 2015, boosting the company’s coal sales and seeing it into the black in 2Q15.
  • Coal of Africa receives 20 yr renewal of the Integrated Water Use Licence for its Vele coal mine and its Makhado project, both in the Limpopo Province, South Africa.
  • Kibo Mining is finalising a Memorandum of Understanding with Tanzania Electric Supply Co. Ltd on a power purchase agreement for the Mbeya coal to power project.
  • Kibo Mining also announced that three new prospecting licences were issued to Rukwa Coal, which will enhance development of the Mbeya coal to power project.
  • Results from the Queensland Resources Council’s annual poll into attitudes towards the state’s resources sector show strong support for the coal industry.

The latest power plant news

  • Aboitiz Power Corp. has inaugurated its 300 MW baseload power plant in Davao City, Mindanao.
  • Big Stone 475 MW coal-fired power plant’s new air-quality control system is commercially operational. The system is now reducing the plant’s emissions and puts it in compliance with new federal and state regulations.
  • Florida public power utility, Lakeland Electric uses GE’s FuelSolv coal treatment programme and saves US1$12 million in fuel costs and improve efficiency at one of its coal-fired plants.
  • AEP Southwestern Electric Power Co.’s Flint Creek coal-fired power plant awarded a 2015 Pollinator Advocate Award from the Wildlife Habitat Council.
  • Black & Veatch has completed its EPC role at the Therma South coal-fired power plant in the Philippines, which includes the region's first coal storage dome.
  • EP UK Investments Ltd, a subsidiary of Energetický a prumyslový holding (EPH), has reached an agreement with RWE Supply & Trading GmbH on the purchase of Lynemouth Power Ltd.

Sales, acquisitions and bankruptcy

  • CIMIC, the owner of mining contractor, Thiess, is attempting to expand its mining footprint with the acquisition of Australian engineering company, Sedgman.
  • Rhino Resource Partners has announced an agreement for Royal Energy Resources Inc. to acquire from Wexford Capital certain limited partnership interests and entire general partner membership interest.
  • Arch Coal has become the latest victim of the coal downturn in the US, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection under a plan to restructure its debt.
  • US Bankruptcy Court has approved Arch Coal’s First Day motions, allowing the company to continue to pay wages and continue with agreed debt restructuring.

Coal shipping

  • Coal exports through the Port of Newcastle in New South Wales, Australia, fell 0.6% in 2015 amid difficult market conditions for seaborne coal.
  • Exports from the Australian state of Queensland hit 220 million t in 2015, an increase of 2% on last year’s record.
  • term loan facility Diana Shipping signs a for up to US$75 734 900 with the Export-Import Bank of China.

Corporate affairs

  • Cokal has asked for an extension to its suspension from the ASX to continue negotiations with potential buyers.
  • Fenner is refocusing and restructuring its Engineered Conveyor Solutions divisions in the Americas in response to challenging market conditions.
  • Pennsylvania anthracite producer, Atlantic Coal, has received shareholder approval for its plans to delist from AIM and change the company name to Atlantic Carbon Group.
  • Australian coal exploration and mine development company, Acacia Coal, has announced a restructuring of its board of directors in efforts to reduce costs.
  • Norfolk Southern is combining Virginia and Pocahontas divisions to streamline operations and support long-term growth.

Not to be missed …

  • The Clean Power Plan hit a US coal industry already struggling with other regulatory challenges and competition from natural gas. But despite the industry's current woes, it's not going away anytime soon, as Andrew Moore, Platts, USA, reports.
  • Steve Bradbury, Dingo, USA, explains the Compound Effect and illustrates how maximising on data to improve seemingly small decisions can lead to big results.
  • Over the next five years, the global coal industry is expected to witness a fundamental structural change to the seaborne market: a move away from Chinese led demand growth. Clifford Smee, Timetric, details trends in coal to 2020.

Written by Harleigh Hobbs

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