CoalWire 7, 10th October 2013

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

Indonesia: Additional delays for Central Java Power Project

Securing funding for the controversial 2,000 megawatt Central Java Power Project at Batang in Indonesia has been delayed by another year due to landowners refusing to sell their land to the Indonesian-Japanese consortium. Greenpeace SE Asia has been supporting the communities, and with partners in Japan, to discourage the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) from financing the project. A recent report by OilChange International revealed that the World Bank had indirectly supported the project. The project would be Indonesia’s first independent power project and is part of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s strategy to increase exports of Japanese coal technology.

India: Rally to protest against Jindal’s expansion in Chattisgarh

Activists from coal-affected areas in Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Jharkhand, Gujarat and West Bengal joined hundreds of villagers in Raigarh, Chhattisgarh for a two-day Koyla Raila(Coal Rally) on 1-2 October protesting against a proposed coal mine by Jindal Steel and Power Limited. Tribal landowners have already been displaced by Jindal’s three existing coal mines and power stations in the area. Villagers have vowed they will resist the company being allocated another coal block. Ramesh Agrawal a prominent local activist opposing Jindal’s plans, was recently shot and wounded. The Koyla Raila was supported by Mines, Minerals, People Network.

top news

Australia: A 1,000MW coal-fired plant is set to be closed in 2014 for at least two years as increasing renewable electricity and falling demand combine to squeeze the profitability of coal generators. Electricity market observers suggest the Wallerawang Power station in NSW is the most likely candidate.(RenewEconomyPitt & Sherry)

Australia: North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation has delayed the proposed 180 million tonne-a-year Dudgeon Point coal export terminal. The proposed 22 million tonnes-a-year Port Alma coal export terminal in Queensland is also on hold “until there’s the demand for it.” Environmental groups have called on the government to reject both proposals. (The AustralianThe Australian)

Canada: The proposed Vista mine has been delayed after the Alberta Environment Regulator announced a further public hearing would be required to address issues raised by three tribal groups and a resource company. Coalspur is proposing to export up to 12 million tonnes of thermal coal a year through ports in British Columbia. (Edmonton Journal)

China: Beijing municipal authorities have announced that they will shut down four coal-fired power stations and replace them with gas-based power centers by the end of 2014. The announcement coincided with high air pollution levels. (Xinhua)

India: The National Green Tribunal has ordered the proponents of the 4,000MW Cheyyur Ultra Mega Power Project in Tamil Nadu not enter into final contracts for the plant until the completion of further court hearings. Local residents are challenging the separate environment assessment of a proposed coal terminal and associated power station. (New Indian Express)

United States: A federal court judge has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must establish regulations for the disposal of coal ash. The ruling followed an April 2012 application from a coalition of environmental groups challenging the EPA’s decision not to proceed with coal ash disposal standards. (Earthjustice)

United States: The Kansas Supreme Court has found that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment failed to follow federal rules when it approved an air permit for Sunflower Electric Power’s proposed 895MW coal-fired power plant. The case was brought by the Sierra Club. (Platts)

news

Australia: Planning department urges rejection of coal mine near World Heritage Area.

Australia: Rio Tinto gives shuttered mine away to junior coal company.

Australia: 151MW Redbank coal plant put into receivership.

Australia: Rio Tinto demands, and gets, secrecy over lobbying to change planning laws.

Australia: Dust from coal export terminals a major contributor to Mackay air pollution.

Bangladesh: High Court rejects legal challenge to Rampal plant.

Bangladesh: Dispute over terms delays Chittagong power station deal.

Burma: Tata Power says feasibility study on 660MW plant will take six to eight months.

Canada: Teck delays decision on reopening the Quintette metallurgical coal mine.

India: Distribution companies rebel against proposed Mundra price hike.

India: Refinancing request delayed pending details of Lanco’s Australian subsidiary.

India: Ministry of Power warns power companies violating coal allocation rules.

India: Ministry of Power rejects request for short-term coal allocation for GVK plant.

India: Court dismisses Jindal’s defamation case over ‘Coalgate’ news report.

Kenya: Government seeks private investors for 900-1000MW coal plant at Lamu.

Mongolia: Approval for Terra Energy to build new 98-kilometre haul road to Chinese border.

New Zealand: Inquiry demand over US$278 million loss by government coal company.

Pakistan: Government asks Asian Development Bank for US$900 million loan for coal plant.

United Kingdom: House of Lords push to curb coal power by 2030.

United States: FirstEnergy closes two Pennsylvania coal plants.

United States: Longwall failure stirs billionaire Bill Koch’s Oxbow Mining to halvemine workforce.

United States: Southern Company loses tax break due to delay of US$5 billion IGCC Kemper plant.

United States: 250 people attended a public hearing on the proposed Longview export terminal.

United States: The 1100MW Brayton Point Power Station in Massachusetts will close in May 2017.

United States: Opposition growing to proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal in Washington state.

“I think they [investors] might act on news of some new regulatory action, but they’re not going to act on some scientific report  [the IPCC] when so many reports are ignored and when so much money is being poured into discrediting them,”

said Nell Minow, a former head of the proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services.

companies + markets

Power plant orphans: Financially-stressed private companies are now seeking buyers for 30 coal and gas-fired projects with a capacity of 30-35,000 megawatts.“Most of these projects are still under development and today’s stressful economic scenario is forcing them to exit,” said Debasish Mishra, a Senior Director with DeloitteTouche Tohmatsu India. (Economic Times)

Coal gasification: Regional authorities have announced that a $30 billion coal gasification project, requiring 90 million tonnes of coal a year, will proceed in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The ‘demonstration project’ is proposed by a consortium including Sinopec and Huaneng Xinjiang Energy Development Co to supply 30 billion cubic-metres of gas a year to Guangdong in the south and Zhejiang in eastern China.  (China Radio International)

Development Bank funding for Zambian coal: The African Development Bank (AfDB ) has approved a US$150-million loan for a 300MW coal-fired power plant as well as the redevelopment of the Maamba coal mine. Announcing the decision the AfDB stated that it, along with the private South African Bank Absa Capital, were co-ordinating finance and due diligence process for the US$800-million project. (African Development Bank)

Asia Pacific benchmark thermal price tumbles further:  Xstrata is reported to have agreed to supply  Australian thermal coal to Tohoku Electric Power Company at US$85.80 a tonne for the year from October 2013. This would represent an 11% price cut on the preceding year and a signal that prices negotiated for the largest annual contracts between Australian miners and Japanese power utilities early next year will add further pressure to Australian exporters. (Wall Street Journal, CoalSwarm)

“We are getting countless offers [of power projects for sale] but our hands are full and pockets are empty. There is no scope for buying any projects,”

an anonymous Indian private power producer executive told the Economic Times.

resources

Glencore Xstrata – the birth of a mining monster, London Mining Network, October 23, 2013.

This briefing paper provides an overview of controversial projects the company is involved in. While none are coal projects, the briefing paper provides an insight into the corporate culture of what is now one of the world’s largest coal exporters.

Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project: Singrauli, Madhya Pradesh: A Brief Report, Bank Information Center, September 2013. (Pdf)

The report provides an overview of the impacts of the proliferation of coal-fired power stations in the Singrauli district – which hosts approximately 10% of all India’s coal power capacity – and the part-completed Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project in particular.

Stranded assets and the fossil fuel divestment campaign: what does divestment mean for the valuation of fossil fuel assets?,University of Oxford, October 2013. (Pdf – click the ‘download’ tab).

This WWF-UK-funded report reviews the potential of the fossil fuel divestment campaign to significantly affect corporate valuations. The report’s authors conclude that coal companies are at greatest risk of fossil fuel companies and likely to be the stocks that investors sell first.

take action

India: Request to join sign-on letters over French role in Tata Mundra project 

Carbon Market Watch has requested support for sign-on letters to EDF Trading and the French government over their support for trading in carbon credits from the controversial Mundra power project in India.  The deadline for signing on to the letter is Friday October 11, 2013. Please contact Juliane Voight <[email protected]> for further details.

Carbon Market Watch’s Twitter address is: @CarbonMrktWatch