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Coal's Geographic Frontiers


Although much of the world's  coal trade originates  from a few established exporters, such as South Africa, Australia and Colombia, or is consumed near where it is produced in places such as the United States, China and India, rising energy demand has spurred new activity in locations and with coal qualities long considered less-than-ideal for export development.   Until about a decade and a half ago , for instance, Indonesia had a minimal export coal presence.  During the 1998 Asian currency crisis, when exchange  rate inflation  made it  economically feasible  to sell outside the country for really the first time, and following into the boom in Pacific seaborne demand which started in the first few years of the following decade, the country rapidly built up its exports.  Indonesia is now the largest international supplier of thermal coals.

In some areas export-quality coal may remain undeveloped because of a number of factors: sub-freezing temperatures; long rail haul distances or otherwise lacking transport infrastructure; political complexity; or any combination thereof. 

Outside of traditional coal production areas, there  many billion tonnes of proven hard coal reserves.  The next exported thermal coal markets to develop will likely include  some of the following:
  • Alaska
  • Botswana
  • Madagascar
  • Mozambique
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan

Energy Edge has direct project experience in many emerging coal markets, and contacts on every continent where new development and exploration is taking place. If you have questions about developments on coal's geographic frontiers, Energy Edge Partner Martin Bloemendal can inform you fully.    Please feel free to contact  him  today.



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