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Russian coal sought by US power plant

World Coal,

New Hampshire’s Schiller coal-fired power plant has turned to Russia for its source of coal, rather than domestic coal sources.

In June, the Doric Victory, transported coal almost 4000 miles from Riga, Latvia, to the Schiller plant – a 150 MW utility, which has produced electricity for New Hampshire consumers since 1952.

Railroad bottlenecks in the US, as well as climbing electricity demand, has left US utilities scrambling for coal after the coldest winter in decades drove stockpiles down.

The US is set to import 26% of coal this year, and Russia is set to receive a significant cut of this – IHS Energy forecasts Russian shipments to the US will rise by 106 million t over the course of the year.

“Everyone’s aware that a number of plants have low stockpiles, so you hear Russian coal and they say, ‘Oh wow, people must really be desperate,’” James Stevenson, Houston-based director of North American coal at IHS, said

“A shipment of coal was contracted from Russia that met our operational and economic needs,” representatives for Schiller disclosed.

According to analysts, Russian coal is an attractive purchase for consumers, because of its low sulfur content, which helps it comply with environmental rules. Russian coal also has a high heat content, which means it produces more power per measure, compared with other coals.

Russian President, has earmarked massive public and private spending to support the Russian coal sector – pledging US$ 120 billion to expand coal capacity and boost exports.

US government data suggests Russia has the second-largest reserves of coal, behind the US.

Russia is able to flood the seaborne coal market with export fuel, because of its abundant domestic gas supplies.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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