News Wrap

IN THIS morning’s News Wrap: Just years to go for unburnable coal reserves, new study finds; gas tipped as next big threat to coal; and WICET drawdown may spur Monadelphous lawsuit.

Lou Caruana

Just years to go for unburnable coal reserves, new study finds

The viability of mining Australia's massive fossil fuel reserves has been called into question by new research that estimates the limits of carbon emissions possible if dangerous climate change is to be avoided, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

In a study published in the journal Nature, University College London researchers say that 82% of the world's coal, half its gas reserves and a third of its oil must remain in the ground if global temperature increases are to be kept within 2 degrees of pre-industrial levels.

Gas tipped as next big threat to coal

Forget anti-coal activism and renewable energy – the biggest threat to the future of the Australian coal industry could be gas, according to the Australian Financial Review.

“If the unconventional gas revolution in the US can be replicated elsewhere – say China, Europe, and even Australia – that may create a new paradigm for coal to compete with,” says UBS commodities analyst Daniel Morgan.

Renewable energy has driven up the cost of energy across Europe, particularly in countries where fraccing is banned, he said.

WICET drawdown may spur Monadelphous lawsuit

The Wiggins Island coal export terminal remains embroiled in financial disputes with contractors working on the Queensland terminal as the deadline nears for its first coal shipments, according to the Australian Financial Review.

WICET had aimed to start shipping coal by November 24, but last year moved its first shipment date back to March 15 with chief executive Robert Barnes blaming altercations with contractors for the delay.

Engineering group Monadelphous warned in December it planned to take legal action against WICET after the coal terminal drew down on the full amount of $19.46 million in bank guarantees issued by Monadelphous.

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