Peabody digs into Chinese coal market

AMERICAN coal giant Peabody Energy has announced it has joined a clean coal-fuelled power plant initiative in China and is looking to develop a Chinese coal mine.

Staff Reporter

As the only non-Chinese partner in GreenGen - a coal-fuelled power plant with carbon capture and storage that is under development in China - Peabody holds a 6% share in the initiative.

Other partners in the $US1 billion project include China Huaneng, one of the top 10 power companies in the world; the China Datang Corporation; the China Huadian Corporation; the China Guodian Corporation; the China Power Investment Corporation; the Shenhua Group; the China National Coal Group; and the State Development and Investment Corporation.

"Peabody is honoured to represent the rest of the world in China's most important climate initiative," Peabody chairman and CEO Gregory H Boyce said.

"Peabody is a leader in advancing technology-based solutions to climate concerns.

"GreenGen joins other important carbon initiatives involving Peabody on several continents, including the Coal21 program in Australia, FutureGen in the United States, and the Asia-Pacific Partnership."

Its involvement in the project is just the first step into entering the lucrative Chinese coal market, with Boyce confirming to the Wall Street Journal that the company is "very close" to signing on a deal to develop its first Chinese coal mine.

The WSJ report said Peabody is seeking a Chinese partner to develop an opencut operation and is in discussions with Chinese mining giant China Shenhua Energy and utility company Huaneng Power International.

Boyce told the WSJ that the company is looking to secure the deal within the next 12 months with a view to mining about 50 million tonnes of coal a year.