US coal exports to Canada decline

A DROP in coal-fired power generation along with moves to lower-emission fuels could mean a record low level of coal exports from the US to Canada this year.
US coal exports to Canada decline US coal exports to Canada decline US coal exports to Canada decline US coal exports to Canada decline US coal exports to Canada decline

Courtesy: Energy Information Administration

Donna Schmidt

Experts say this is part of an ongoing trend.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said US coal exports during the first half of this year totaled 3.2 million short tons, or about 5% of the 66.2 million short tons the nation exported to all destinations during the same period.

The EIA’s Quarterly Coal Report noted that coal exports to Canada could reach their lowest ever levels later this year.

The slump is not new, however, as the share of US coal exports destined for Canada averaged 41% between 2002 and 2006 and the percentage had shown an annual decline since 2007.

Further declines were projected, the agency said.

EIA data revealed that 16% of Canada’s electricity in 2011 was generated using coal, a 2% drop from 2010.

“In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, Canadian federal and provincial governments have announced policies to move away from coal-fired generation,” the agency said.

“Beginning July 1, 2015, the Canadian federal government plans to enforce a strict performance standard for all coal-fired units. The addition of the new regulations will likely encourage utilities to retire aged coal-fired generators and shift to lower or non-emitting fuels.”

Canada primarily uses seam coal for its power generation. Seam coal accounted for 88% of its total coal consumption last year.

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