Coal rush! Energy crisis fires global hunt for polluting fuel

 

By Sudarshan Varadhan, Helen Reid, Nuzulack Dausen, Jonathan Saul and Nina Chestney, Reuters

via Euronews - Sep 20, 2022 

 

DAR ES SALAAM – The sleepy Tanzanian port of Mtwara mainly dealt in cashew nuts until late last year. Now it bustles with vessels loading up with coal, as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine drives a worldwide race for the polluting fuel.

 

Tanzania traditionally exports thermal coal only to neighbouring countries in east Africa; sending it further afield was out of the question, as it required trucking the material more than 600 km from mines in its southwest to Mtwara, the nearest Indian Ocean port.

 

Europe’s crippling energy crisis has changed all that.

 

Prices for thermal coal, used to generate electricity, have leapt to record levels as a result of the war, which has led to many European countries losing access to vital supplies of natural gas and coal from their top provider Russia.

 

Buyers in Europe and beyond are now vying to pay top dollar for coal from often remote mines in places such as Tanzania, Botswana and even potentially Madagascar. The resurgent coal demand, driven by governments trying to wean themselves off Russian energy while keeping a lid on power prices, clashes with climate plans to shift away from the most polluting fossil fuel.

 

“European players, after the Russian war, are going to any place where there is coal,” Rizwan Ahmed, managing director of coal miner Bluesky Minings said in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. “They are offering to pay very good prices.”

 

Commodities trader Cargill has seen a marked rise in coal shipments into Europe in recent months, said Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s ocean transportation division, with the company transporting 9 million tonnes of coal globally in the June-August period compared with 7 million a year earlier.

 

“Europe is competing with other buyers and the alternative is more expensive, which is gas,” said Dieleman...

 

A LAST HURRAH FOR COAL? ...

 

‘COAL HAS BEEN EMBRACED‘ ...

 

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https://www.euronews.com/next/2022/09/20/ukraine-crisis-coal-insight