Key Facts About the Metallurgical Coal Industry
Demand for metallurgical coal is due to increase as steel production escalates due to market demands. Steel, being the key material used in numerous industries including automotive, infrastructure, transport, power and machine manufacturing, is in strong global demand. The steel industry currently employs over 2 million people globally and has seen a marked increase in crude steel production worldwide, from 851 Mt in 2001 to 1,527 Mt in 2011.
Metallurgical coal is one of the industries directly affected by increased production of steel. PCI coal demand is projected to increase in the coming years due to new blast furnaces coming into operation. The higher demand is also due to increased installation and transition to PCI coal in existing blast furnaces. The demand for PCI coal will greatly depend on the number of blast furnaces fitted with injection as well as the competitiveness of alternative fuels such as thermal coal, oil and gas. For the near future, PCI coal is slated to enjoy strong demand. Production is also expected to increase in the current mining operations along with new capacity.
PCI in blast furnaces offers many advantages in the operation. Many blast furnace operations have turned to pulverised coal injection as they looked to reduce the production costs brought about by expensive coke. Because coal is less expensive than coke, the operational fuel costs and overall production costs are lowered significantly. Applied with other parameters, coal injection is seen to possibly improve productivity in the blast furnace.
The use of PCI coal also allows for injection of a broad range of coal types. Because injection rates are higher for coal than for oil or natural gas, coal becomes the preferred choice due to the lower coke rates. Coal is also preferred because coal injection systems are deemed to be less costly than building new coke plants. Blast furnaces also enjoy a reliable supply of coal due to the big coal reserves in the country, so prices tend to be more stable too. Coal grinding and injection systems are also non-polluting so this benefits operations that are looking to improve their carbon footprint.
M Resources trades globally and includes these direct customers. The team spends time each year travelling to each of these specific areas as well as others to visit and engage with our customers directly.
Matt Latimore was once again invited lead a discussion table at the Coaltrans East Asia Networking Forum on ‘Producing steel cost competitively – Managing the sourcing of metallurgical coal and iron ore’.
Click on the link below to view a copy of Matt’s presentation:
Matt Latimore was invited to speak at the 12th Coaltrans India on the topic Maintaining Australia’s status as a leading source of Indian coal imports.
Click on the link below to download a copy of Matt’s presentation: