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Italy’s coal imports drop through 2014

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World Coal,

Italy’s imports of the thermal coal will drop 11% this year following the closure of the Valdo Ligure coal-fired power plant, the Italian Coal Association told the recent Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) plenary meeting in Paris. Shipments will total 16 million t for the year.

Meanwhile, metallurgical coal imports have suffered from continuing trouble at the ILVA steel plants in Taranta and will finish the year down 15% year on year at 4 million t.

“Italy’s energy policies have made lift difficult for coal operators in recent times,” said Andrea Clavarino, chairman of Assocarboni. “We are now facing an extremely dangerous situation: a number of investments in coal power plants, which would allow the country to secure its energy independence, reduce its energy bill and equip its plants with the best available technologies, are being stalled by the authorization process.”

Italy is dependent of natural gas for 50% of its energy needs, with 40% of its gas supplies coming from Russia. “This exposes the country to the geopolitical risk of supply disruptions,” concluded Clavarino. According to Assocarboni, a natural gas supply shortage this winter would only be manageable if it lasted less than 20 days with no adverse weather conditions.

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