Technical Market Support » Thermal Coal
The international market in thermal coals for power generation is highly competitive and is largely driven by quality and cost. Environmental issues are however attracting increasing scrutiny because of stricter controls on the release of trace elements to the environment through air emissions and the disposal of solid waste products and liquid effluents. The levels of environmentally sensitive trace elements in thermal coals are therefore of increasing importance to power utilities and limits on the content of trace elements of major concern in product coals are now common in supply contracts raised by Japanese utilities.
Australian thermal coals have generally low levels of most elements of environmental concern and this provides the industry with a competitive edge in the international coal trade. Up-to-date information on the levels of trace elements in Australian product coals and those supplied by its major competitors is a valuable resource for marketing purposes.
In previous ACARP projects databases have been established on the levels of trace elements in Australian thermal coals and those supplied by its international competitors. The continued upgrading of the database provides Australian coal producers with up-to-date information on the levels of environmental trace elements in coals produced by its competitors.
The aim of projects C13069 and C15073 was to upgrade the database on trace elements in Australian and internationally traded coals every six months over a two year period and to make this information available to the coal industry through ACARP project C12060 – Background Information for Website on Trace Elements in Coal.
A database comprising the most comprehensive compilation on the levels of environmentally sensitive trace elements in Australian export thermal coals and internationally coals has been established and updated.
The upper ranges of trace elements of environmental concern in Australian coals are comparatively low.