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Fossil Fuel Foundation sees clean coal as a solution for South Africa

The Fossil Fuel Foundation (FFF) has advocated strongly for coal to be retained as a sustainable part of South Africa's energy mix for the short to medium term.

“Contrary to the popular belief that ‘coal is dead’, South Africa’s coal resources are abundant and can provide low-emitting, cost-effective reliable and sustainable power well into the future with the correct technology,” the FFF said during public hearings into the draft Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2018.

The FFF has called for an intense review of all energy sources, saying the current IRP draft dealt almost solely with solar and wind. The organisation wants the government to appoint appropriate experts to undertake studies into all energy sources to ensure the most appropriate energy mix.

The organisation said total coal sales, both local and exported, generated R120-billion in 2017 and was the country’s highest foreign exchange earner. It was the largest mining income earner, beating gold, platinum and diamonds. The FFF has argued that the coal industry has 225 000 direct employees in coal mining, power generation, Sasol and metallurgical industries.

The FFF further advocated for circulating fluidised-bed combustion (CFBC) technology, a clean coal technology with lower emissions to be implemented. Carbon dioxide emissions are significantly reduced when coal is co-fired with biomass, it argued.

“We need to ensure baseload power for the country on a secure and reliable basis, including adding coal-fired CFBC independent power producers and Eskom retrofits.”

A presentation to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Energy by FFF co-founder Dr Rosemary Falcon was supported by Council for Geoscience senior scientist Dr Nandi Malumbazo.

Malumbazo said CFBC was proving to be the boiler technology of choice in many energy-intensive countries including Spain, India, China and Vietnam.

”CFBC is flexible, tolerant, efficient, water-constrained and can be applied to ensure the optimal use of a range of low-grade materials, such as coal.”

The use of clean coal in Kenya’s Amu ‘Clean Coal’ power station was used as an example of how things could work in South Africa.

The FFF has said the power station significantly reduces nitrogen oxide and sulphur oxide emissions. The FFF said the cost implications of reducing coal needs to be carefully considered, as this would reduce the foreign exchange earned by coal.

“Another item to be carefully considered is the need to cost out the implications of adjusting boilers for flexible ramping."

By Kim Cloete. Published by Mining Weekly, 29 October 2018.

This month's top international coal headlines

  • S Africa’s Exxaro achieves record coal production, sales in 2018 — Platts CTI
  • FOB Richards Bay follows futures market upward — Platts CTI
  • European thermal coal market anticipates further Australian flows — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay prices under pressure from cheaper Australian coal — IHS Markit
  • South32 shortlists bidders for South African coal assets — IHS Markit
  • World Energy Outlook 2018 — IEA
  • Scientists at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology turn carbon dioxide back into carbon — World Coal
  • Atlantic thermal coal market sources look outside of Europe for deals
    — Platts CTI
  • Egypt’s Jan-Feb thermal coal volumes top 1Mt, up 40.9%: shipping data
    — Platts CTI
  • New black-empowered miner Sibambene Coal searching for assets
    — Engineering News
  • Faking It on Climate Change — Bjørn Lomborg
  • Atlantic thermal coal markets rangebound with bearish sentiment — Platts CTI
  • New technologies, not Paris climate agreement, will do the job
    — Financial Times
  • Why Renewables Can’t Save the Planet — Quillette
  • Richards Bay rally to cool after loadings return to normal
    — South African Coal Report
  • Community unrest interrupts coal output at Mpumalanga
    — South African Coal Report
  • Colombia loses some share to Russia, South Africa — Platts CTI
  • Glencore’s watershed on coal — BusinessLIVE
  • America Should Better Utilize Advanced Coal — Forbes
  • Does it really make sense to build a new coal power plant today?
    — Emerging Europe
  • Green New Deal is more of a disaster — register-herald.com
  • SA Jan thermal coal exports hit 18-month low of 4.87Mt — Platts CTI
  • Atlantic thermal coal markets suppressed by weak demand — Platts CTI

2019 archive

February 2019
  • FOB Richards Bay trade at $83/mt — Platts CTI
  • Russian thermal coal offered aggressively into ARA — Platts CTI
  • Pakistan South African coal remained the main source to the market
    — Platts CTI
  • Anglo wary of new thermal coal investments — South African Coal Report
  • CIF ARA thermal coal market sentiment starts week bearish, stocks still high
    — Platts CTI
  • Strange days for coal with Glencore's cap, China curbs: Russell — Reuters
  • Atlantic thermal coal market subdued by European complex, Asian demand
    — Platts CTI
  • Woodmac assesses Australian high CV thermal coal prices — World Coal
  • Mueller’s ‘Foreign Agent’ Prosecutions May Lead to Probes of Green Groups — The Daily Signal
  • First development pod completed at Lesedi 3 — World Coal
  • FOB Richards Bay trade at $82/mt — Platts CTI
  • FOB Richards Bay trades 50 cents lower — Platts CTI
  • European thermal coal market remains bearish in near term despite price rise — Platts CTI
  • FOB Richards Bay trade at $82.50/t — Platts CTI
  • European thermal coal market still bearish, no fresh utility demand
    — Platts CTI
  • Richards Bay trades higher after hitting 2-1/2yr low — Platts CTI
  • Pakistan traders buy Indonesian cargo, while South Africa prices fall
    — IHS Markit
  • Commentary: The mysterious case of disappearing electricity demand
    — International Energy Agency
  • DOE electricity chief belittles 'Green New Deal' goal — Greenwire
  • DOE to Invest Up to $9.5 Million to Create New Market Opportunities for Coal — Office of Fossil Energy
  • The role of coal in India’s energy ambitions — World Coal Association
  • FOB Richards Bay trades at $76.60/mt — Platts CTI
  • CIF ARA futures fall, FOB Richards Bay trade — Platts CTI
  • A timely reminder of the essential value of coal power
    — The Tribune Democrat
  • King coal retreats in Europe, but still powers global growth — S&P Global Platts
  • High-CV Indonesian cargoes more competitive than South African — Platts CTI
  • Large off-spec discounts to become the norm this year in South Africa
    — IHS Markit
  • The ‘Green New Deal’ May Not Save Planet Earth, But It Could Rescue the Trump Campaign — InsideSources
  • SA coal prices under pressure from low demand, strong Indian stockpiles
    — Platts CTI
  • South African 4,800 kcal/kg NAR exports lose to domestic market
    — McCloskey Coal Report
  • S. Africa failing to cash in on high prices, output steady at 253Mt
    — McCloskey Coal Report
  • South Africa promises to clear hurdles blocking mining investment
    — McCloskey Coal Report
  • Wood Instead of Coal: More Foolishness from Radical Environmentalists
    — Western Journal
  • SA needs coal 'until at least 2040', panel argues — Fin24
  • The Cost of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
    — Journal of Economic Perspectives
  • Richards Bay volumes remain in terminal decline — Platts CTI
  • Report's sensational claim of 'climate breakdown' is catchy but untrue
    — Bjorn Lomborg
  • Australia: 2018 sees coal as number one — World Coal
  • Light trading Monday in bearish Atlantic thermal coal markets — Platts CTI
  • How South Africa could fix distressed Eskom — Bloomberg
  • Logistics a weak link in South Africa’s coal value chain — Mining Weekly
  • S. African thermal coal producers highlight quality issues, balanced outlook
    — Platts CTI
January 2019
  • WCA responds to IPCC's Special Report on Global Warming — World Coal
  • Boost for international miners as India's thermal coal imports jump — Reuters
  • European thermal coal market responds slowly to German coal commission
    — Platts CTI
  • Can wind and solar replace fossil fuels? — Watts Up With That?
  • Why a Green Deal Is No Bargain at All — LifeZette
  • Coal Remains a Dominant Global Fuel in IEA Forecasts
    — Institute for Energy Research
  • Coal Isn't Dead. China Proves It. — Forbes
  • Accelerated coal exit could cost Germany up to 54 bln euros extra: study
    — Xinhua
  • A Cup Half Full: Answering the Question “Why Coal and How Coal?”
    — American Coal Council
  • Exxaro commits to R20 billion investment in South Africa
    — Mining Review Africa
  • CIF ARA coal prices rise again but outlook remains bearish — Platts CTI
  • RBCT coal exports decline — Mining Weekly
  • German industry warns on coal exit costs, calls for periodic reviews
    — Platts CTI
  • Low prices in European thermal coal market squeeze US, South African sellers — Platts CTI
  • Benchmark RB prices edge up, off-spec sentiment mixed — IHS Markit
  • Germany's 2019 hard coal imports seen rising after mining ends — Reuters
  • Indian demand for South African thermal coal weak into Q1: trade — Platts CTI
  • Eskom presentation in Durban focuses on coal and Independent Power Producers — Eskom Media Desk
  • South32’s thermal coal production slips 9% on year in Oct-Dec — Platts CTI
  • IEA sees global coal consumption steady until 2023 — McCloskey Coal Report
  • China uncertainty to weigh on 2019 thermal coal markets
    — McCloskey Coal Report
  • South Africa Oct coal output steady on year at 22.7Mt
    — McCloskey Coal Report
  • S. Africa exports hit 14-month high above 8Mt in November — Platts CTI
  • White House sends EPA chief nomination to Senate as shutdown drags on
    — S&P Global Platts
  • Coal - king for another day — Mining Mirror
  • Late Eskom exec Mark van der Riet: How State Capture turned murderous
    — BizNews.com
  • Indian thermal coal buyers return for South African coal in December
    — Platts CTI
  • Demand low in CIF ARA thermal coal market amid high stocks — Platts CTI
  • Global coal demand set to remain stable through 2023, despite headwinds
    — International Energy Agency
  • The IPCC dismissed natural climate change risks
  • Business chamber asks Nersa to stop all new IPPs — Moneyweb
  • Jarrett: EPA proposal could cut coal emissions and boost fuel diversity
    — Farmington Daily Times
  • EPA Pushes for More Coal-Fired Power Under the Trump Administration
    — The Charleston Chronicle
  • Another climate summit means more expensive, ineffective promises
    — Bjørn Lomborg
  • Focus on climate change draws resources best used elsewhere
    — Bjørn Lomborg
  • Truth is the First Casualty of Global Warming — Bjørn Lomborg
  • FOB Richards Bay trade at $94/mt — Platts CTI
  • SA Nov thermal coal exports rise 13% on year to 7.9Mt: customs — Platts CTI
  • Futures tumble — Platts CTI
  • CIF ARA thermal coal market starts 2019 down 5 cents — Platts CTI

2018 archive



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