CoalWire 5, 27th September 2013

September 27, 2013
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CoalWire

CoalWire is a weekly news bulletin which summarises the most significant developments affecting the global coal industry and highlights the efforts of groups around the world working on coal-related issues. Suggestions of material for future bulletins should be sent to [email protected].

campaigns

Bangladesh: 400km march to save world’s largest mangrove forest from a new coal plant

Thousands of people have started a 400-kilometre long march over five days from Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, to Digraj near the Sundarbans World Heritage site. The march is protesting against the environmental and economic impacts of construction of the proposed Rampal 1320-megawatt coal-fired power station and is therefore calling for a shut down of the project. The march will end on September 28. (BDNews24.com, Daily Star)

Indonesia: World Bank urged to reverse Indonesia’s guarantee to Central Java Power Plant

Oil Change International and Greenpeace are calling on the World Bank to insist that the Government of Indonesia cancels the guarantee extended to the Central Java Power Plant. The World Bank Group’s policy loans for infrastructure in Indonesia are promoting the fast-tracking of more than 40 coal projects, an investigation by Oil Change International has revealed. The report also reveals that the World Bank Group acted as the financial advisor to the 2000-megawatt Central Java Power Plant, thereby securing the necessary financial support for its expansion to become one of the largest coal plants in Southeast Asia. The case exposes loopholes in the World Bank’s new Energy Directions’ pledge to limit financing to coal. (See ‘Take Action’ below)(Oil Change International/Greenpeace)

top news

China: Four coastal areas – Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and Shandong – have been asked to cut their annual coal consumption by 83 million tonnes by 2017. This would be a 12 per cent cut in consumption. The government has also announced that they will publish a monthly list of the ten worst and least polluted cities. (South China Morning Post)

India: The Central Bureau of Investigation is investigating decisions relating to several ‘ultra-mega’ coal power plants. Issues flagged in an earlier Comptroller and Auditor General’s (CAG’s) report included the decision to allow both Reliance Power and Tata Power to almost halve their 51% holdings in power project companies, allowing a windfall profit from the projects.(LiveMint)

India: The World Bank is negotiating with the governments of Maharashtra and West Bengal to fund the US$224 million refurbishment of three aging coal-fired plants. The refurbishments, comprising a total of approximately 470 megawatts installed capacity, are a pilot project of the World Bank’s National Programme on Coal Rehabilitation. (Economic Times)

India: Greenpeace has lodged a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Board of India arguing that in its 2010 prospectus Coal India overstated its coal reserves by 16 per cent. The complaint urges the board to penalise Coal India for not informing investors of the most recent and lower estimate. “We didn’t consider it to be a significant development to be reported to the stock exchange,” Coal India Chairman S. Narsing Rao said. (Greenpeace, Business Standard)

Indonesia: With an estimated 56 million tonnes of coal exported illegally, the government is considering plans to strictly regulate loading terminals. The Indonesian Coal Mining Association, an industry lobby group, estimates that potential losses to the state from illegal exports could be as much as US$493 million. (Bloomberg)

Morocco: Safi Energy Company, a joint venture including GDF Suez, is aiming to raise US$1.3 billion in loans for a 1320-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station. The government is planning to spend US$550 million to build a coal import terminal for the plant. A second 1320MW plant is proposed for commencement in 2017. (Business Recorder)

Norway: The government has scrapped the Mongstad Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) plant due to a cost overrun of US$308 million. The government is instead proposing to spend US$68 million on a full scale CCS plant at another location. (Bloomberg)

Pakistan: Private Russian executives have expressed interest in investing in the proposed 1200 megawatt (MW) Jamshoro power station, converting the gas and oil-fired Muzaffargarh power station to a coal plant and the proposed 4000MW Gaddani  Power Park. The Asian Development Bank is reported to have rejected a request for funding of the Jamshoro and Muzaffargarh plants using domestic coal but expressed interest in a new power station using imported coal. (Dawn, The News International)

United States: A judge ruled that the Indiana Department of Environmental Management did not properly assess the effects on water quality of Peabody Energy’s Bear Run mine. The Sierra Club argued that the mine, the largest in eastern US, breached the provisions of the Clean Water Act. (Indiana Public Media)

United States: George Elmaraghy, a former regulator with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency who was pressured to leave his job after raising concerns about water permits for coal mines, has stated that another regulator was reassigned after raising similar concerns. Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office has provided documents on the affair to a state Democratic representative. (Talking Points Memo, The Athens News)

United States: Opponents to the proposed Longview coal export terminal in Washington state outnumbered supporters in the first of five public hearings. The Yakama Nation has also joined tribal opposition to the proposed Northwest coal export projects. (Longview Daily News, Yakima Herald)

news

Australia: Bandanna Energy courting Korea Midland Power as new mine partner.

Canada: Emails reveal Vancouver port authority ‘cosy’ with coal industry.

Canada: Opposition to proposal by Lafarge Canada export coal role.

Czech Republic: Paskov metallurgical mine seeking subsidy to survive.

Global: Increased fossil fuel mining likelycontributor to rising methane emissions.

India: Investigation into possible role of private companies in missing ‘Coalgate’ files.

Malaysia: Government seeks to revive rejected 300 megawatt coal plant.

New Zealand: Groups urge banks to pull funding from proposed mine.

Kazakhstan: Government pushing ahead with Korean built and funded coal plant.

Russia: Russian mining giant Mechel gets US$2.5 billion loan for the Elga Coal Complex.

Thailand: Government-owned company proposes four new coal plants.

United Kingdom: UK carbon tax likely to undermine coal plants’ summer generation.

United States: A coal gasification plant proposed for Utah is cancelled.

United States: Proponent of Wyoming coal-to-liquids plant seeks 30-month delay.

United States: Domestic metallurgical coal “fragile” says producer.

“Investors in coal might well feel paranoid. But remember: it isn’t paranoia if the world really is out to get you,”

wrote Liam Denning in the Wall Street Journal.

companies + markets

Eskom facing coal crunch: As cheap coal mines supplying pit-head power stations are exhausted, South African power utility, Eskom, is facing the need to either import far more expensive coal or upgrade long-haul rail infrastructure from new coalfields. Importing far more expensive coal would push power prices up while new railway lines are likely to take years to build. (Business Day)

Grim 2014 price outlook for coal miners: In a report on the Asia-Pacific coal trade, Moody’s has warned that it expects “weak coal prices through 2014 to increase pressure on the credit quality and liquidity of most coal producers in the Asia Pacific region in the next 12 to 18 months.” (Jakarta Post)

New Russia to Korea rail line opens: A new railway link between the North Korean port city of Rajin and Khasan in Russia has been opened. The initial priority of the line is to carry up to 4 million tonnes of metallurgical coal a year to the Asian market. (Bloomberg)

Northwest Passage opens up for coal: A Norwegian company has completed the first shipment of coal from Vancouver to Finland via the normally ice-bound Northwest Passage. The route is 1,000 nautical miles shorter, saving four to five days’ sailing time, and allows a fully-loaded 73,000 tonne ship, compared to the 60,000-tonne ship capacity of the Panama Canal. (The Globe and Mail)

US coal tender rejected: A US$35 million bid by Kiewit Mining for a coal lease in Wyoming containing 167 million tonnes was rejected because it “did not meet fair market value.” (US Bureau of Land Management)

“We’re seeing the beginnings of a big structural shift, particularly in the Chinese energy sector … For global markets, this is a significant bearish signal for coal,”

Richard Morse, the managing director at SuperCritical Capital, an energy consultancy, told the New York Times.

resources

Draining the Life-blood: Groundwater impacts of coal mining in the Galilee BasinLock the Gate Alliance, September 2013. (Pdf)

This 60-page report reviews the potential cumulative effect of 9 new ‘mega’ coal mines on the regional water supplies.  The nine projects, if operating concurrently, could produce approximately more than 310 million tonnes of coal a year.

Coal India: Running on Empty?, Greenpeace India, September 2013. (Pdf)

This provides an excellent overview of the challenges facing Coal India’s plan to expand production while economic reserves are shrinking. In just 32 pages you will understand why the days of cheap domestic coal In India are over.

take action

South Africa: Protests to stop Coal-3 in response to latest climate science: 

Earthlife Africa-Jhb, groundWork/Friends of the Earth-South Africa and Greenpeace Africa will hold protests against Eskom’s proposed 4800-megawatt Coal-3 project on September 27, 2013. The protests coincide with the launch of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report on the physical science basis of climate change. See here for Coal3 factsheet.

Send a tweet in solidarity: #SouthAfrica doesn’t need another mega #coal power station http://bit.ly/1bHdSqG #NOCoal3 #climate @Eskom_SA

Indonesia: The World Bank can halt support for the Central Java Power Plant

On October 6 project finance for the Central Java Power Plant expansion is scheduled to be finalised. Contact Heike or Arif at Greenpeace  for details of a sign on letter to the World Bank.