On the subject of Chinese, why did the giant Yanzhou group just shell out US$2.69 billion through their majority-owned Yancoal Australia to buy Rio Tinto’s Hunter Valley coal assets in New South Wales?
It would come as no surprise to the Chinese -- or the Indians for that matter -- that there will be a big demand for coal for decades to come and the latest sloganeering in the Queensland election about coal being dead just misses the point.
Coal will remain the primary source of electricity in China and India in 2040, with South-East Asia tripling coal fired electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.
Coal powered generation is projected to increase from 9,282 TWh in 2016 to 10,086 TWh in 2040, representing 26% of all electricity produced.
The IEA report highlights increasing demand for Australia’s mineral resources, including thermal and metallurgical coal, uranium and the myriad of other resources the Australia’s world class mining sector provides, according to the Minerals Council of Australia.
Australia is in the fortunate position of being an exporter of energy.
Unlike many other developed countries, who have a permanently skewed balance of payments because they need to import their energy, Australia has plenty of energy on tap for its needs.
The fiasco of gas shortages and lack of energy in the national grid has been caused by government mismanagement over the last 10 years where no clear policy on renewables and the future of the legacy fossil fuel energy infrastructure could be reached.
It seems our political leaders over the last decade were more focused on conspiring on ousting successive prime ministers instead of keeping focus on the important job of keeping the lights on.
While the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility ponders whether to give Adani a $1 billion loan to build a rail corridor to the port at Abbots Point from its proposed $16.5 billion Carmichael mine, the demand for Australian coal still remains.
Adani is already recruiting in Central Queensland and is pushing ahead with the project regardless.
Coal may be a dirty word in some parts of inner city of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, but in China, India, and South East Asia it is top of the pops.