Europe Round-up

Latest news for the UK, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

Staff Reporter

United Kingdom

HARGREAVES Services has closed its Maltby Colliery in south Yorkshire as they claim it is no longer viable.

Hundreds of miners marched through Maltby to mark the end of coal mining in the town.

The mine was one of the last deep coal mines in England and the layoffs will see about 250 people out of work, while 150 had been redeployed.

The pit produced coal for more than 100 years. Hargreaves Services bought the colliery from UK Coal in 2007 and announced mining was expected to continue at the site until 2015.

Early last year the company said "unusual geological conditions" had emerged and rendered the mine no longer viable.

Work to seal off the mine is expected to be completed in 10 weeks.

Germany

A STUDY by Stuttgart University commissioned by Greenpeace has reported that there are about 3100 premature deaths every year in Germany and neighboring countries due to particulate matter emitted by German coal-fired power plants.

Using emissions data collected by the European Environment Agency and Greenpeace, the researchers calculated and modelled the chemical reactions that happened in the air, as well as the resulting pollution to which the European population is exposed.

“The coal-fired power plants in Germany provide 45% of the yearly electricity production in

Germany but they also cause a considerable amount of health impacts,” the research report summarised.

“The results of this report show a quantitative estimate of these health impacts with regard to reduced life time expectancy of the population in Europe caused by the emission of classical air pollutants by coal-fired power plants operating in Germany. These health risks should be taken into account when making decisions about the electricity generating system.”

Particulate matter is directly released during the process of coal combustion but the majority forms later in the air through chemical reactions. The research found that formation of the pollution combined with the power plants high stacks and the impact of wind meant that the highest health risks occurred to people between 100-200km away from the power plant site, potentially in other countries, and not directly around the plant.

Russia

THE Russian Federal Customs Service has released coal export results for 2012.

Coal exports for 2012 showed an increase of 18%, to 130.41 million tons, the service said.

Coal exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States rose 4.8% to just over 2 million tons, while supplies to non-CIS countries went up 18.1% to 18.68 million tons.

The value of coal exports fell 3.9% to $1.87 billion in the period.

Coking coal and semi-coke exports rose 38.3% to 383,200 tons. In monetary terms, it increased by 32.9% to $90.4 million.

Ukraine

THE Cabinet of Ministers introduced a coal import quota of 10.2 million tons for 2013 and banned inbound shipments of coke this year in an effort to support local producers.

The government published the approved decree on their website last week.

Ukraine currently imports 37.5% of the total coking coal it consumes.

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