Expansion plans for leading coal exporters

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Most coal, and particularly the lower value thermal coal, is burnt in pit-head power stations close to where it is mined. As a result, just over 15% of coal is traded across national boundaries.

According to the International Energy Agency, in 2011 the total international coal trade was 1.139 billion tonnes out of total global demand of approximately 7.384 billion tonnes. Of this thermal coal, which is overwhelmingly used in coal-fired power stations, accounted for just under three quarters. The remainder is metallurgical coal, which is overwhelmingly used in steel production.

Of the traded coal, just over 90% is exported by ships with the remainder transported overland. The overland trade primarily consists of exports between Eastern Europe and Eurasia and of metallurgical coal from Mongolia to China. However, the global seaborne trade is dominated by exports from and to countries within the Pacific basin. (See Pacific Basin coal market and Atlantic Basin coal market for more details).

Overview

Major coal exporters

As shown in the tables below, coal exports grew by 32.5 percent between 2008 and 2012, from 968 million metric tons (tonnes) in 2008 to 1.282 billion metric tons (tonnes) in 2012. Exports are concentrated in a handful of countries. Just two countries (Indonesia and Australia) accounting for over half of the world total and eight countries (Indonesia, Australia, Russia, United States, Colombia, South Africa, Canada, and Kazakhstan) accounting for over 90 percent. Table 1 shows the countries with exports great than 3.0 million short tons. Table 2 shows provides the same information converted to metric tons (tonnes). Note: 1 metric ton (tonne) = 1.10231 short tons.

Table 1: Exports of Coal by Country and Year (thousand short tons)[1]

Country 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Share in 2012 (%) Cumulative shares (%)
Indonesia 220,404 257,314 294,539 331,423 421,755 29.8% 29.8%
Australia 277,991 288,527 322,559 313,647 332,363 23.5% 53.3%
Russia 111,495 119,384 148,912 140,129 150,720 10.7% 64.0%
United States 83,478 60,404 83,178 108,229 126,720 9.0% 73.0%
Colombia 75,562 74,487 76,989 89,050 92,233 6.5% 79.5%
South Africa 63,814 57,295 73,189 75,847 81,956 5.8% 85.3%
Canada 36,485 31,777 36,920 37,568 38,830 2.7% 88.0%
Kazakhstan 36,538 31,568 34,604 33,477 35,178 2.5% 90.5%
Mongolia 4,582 7,842 18,434 26,110 24,320 1.7% 92.2%
Vietnam 21,335 27,549 21,910 19,701 21,168 1.5% 93.7%
China 63,384 25,235 27,181 27,546 15,184 1.1% 94.8%
North Korea 2,895 3,309 5,113 12,322 13,240 0.9% 95.7%
Ukraine 6,396 6,848 8,444 9,897 8,205 0.6% 96.3%
Czech Republic 9,319 9,100 9,042 8,760 7,609 0.5% 96.9%
Philippines 984 2,198 4,518 3,016 3,498 0.2% 97.1%
Mozambique 31 31 31 640 3,412 0.2% 97.3%
Venezuela 5,213 3,260 2,708 2,283 3,126 0.2% 97.6%
World 1,067,376 1,044,448 1,211,835 1,286,721 1,413,900


Table 2: Exports of Coal by Country and Year (thousand metric tons)[2]

Country 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Share in 2012 (%) Cumulative shares (%)
Indonesia 199,947 233,431 267,201 300,662 382,610 29.8% 29.8%
Australia 252,189 261,747 292,621 284,536 301,515 23.5% 53.3%
Russia 101,147 108,303 135,091 127,123 136,731 10.7% 64.0%
United States 75,730 54,797 75,458 98,183 114,959 9.0% 73.0%
Colombia 68,549 67,574 69,843 80,784 83,672 6.5% 79.5%
South Africa 57,891 51,977 66,396 68,807 74,349 5.8% 85.3%
Canada 33,099 28,828 33,493 34,081 35,226 2.7% 88.0%
Kazakhstan 33,147 28,638 31,392 30,370 31,913 2.5% 90.5%
Mongolia 4,157 7,114 16,723 23,687 22,063 1.7% 92.2%
Vietnam 19,355 24,992 19,876 17,872 19,203 1.5% 93.7%
China 57,501 22,893 24,658 24,989 13,775 1.1% 94.8%
North Korea 2,626 3,002 4,638 11,178 12,011 0.9% 95.7%
Ukraine 5,802 6,212 7,660 8,978 7,443 0.6% 96.3%
Czech Republic 8,454 8,255 8,203 7,947 6,903 0.5% 96.9%
Philippines 893 1,994 4,099 2,736 3,173 0.2% 97.1%
Mozambique 28 28 28 581 3,095 0.2% 97.3%
Venezuela 4,729 2,957 2,457 2,071 2,836 0.2% 97.6%
World 968,308 947,508 1,099,359 1,167,295 1,282,670

Thermal coal versus metallurgical coal

Thermal coal (also known as steam coal) is the type of coal used in coal-fired power plants. Metallurgical coal (also known as met coal or coking coal) is the type of coal used in the production of steel. As shown in Table 3, Indonesia dominates the thermal coal trade. This is despite the fact that Indonesia's proven coal reserves (defined by British Petroleum as amounts that "can be removed in the future from known deposits under existing economic and operating conditions") of 5.5 billion metric tons are relatively modest, accounting for only 0.6 percent of the world total.[3]

Table 3: Coal Exports in 2012 for Leading Exporters by Type of Coal
(million metric tons)
[4]

Country Thermal coal Metallurgical coal Total
Indonesia 380 3 383
Australia 159 142 301
Russia 116 18 134
United States 51 63 114
Colombia 82 0 82
South Africa 74 0 74
Canada 4 31 35

Australia

Overview

Table 4: Australia Coal Export Terminal Expansion Proposals

Project Sponsor Capacity
(millions tonnes per annum)
Status
Abbot Point AP-X Anglo American and Northhub Anglo quits (March 2014); Northhub proceeding to stage two analysis
Abbot Point T0 Adani Group 70 Pre-feasibility phase
Abbot Point T2 BHP Billiton 30 BHP Billiton has withdrawn
Abbot Point T3 Hancock Coal 60 Under development
Balaclava Island Xstrata Coal Queensland 35 Shelved May 2013
Berth 14 Griffin Coal (Lanco Infratech) 15 Western Australia EPA recommends approval July 2013
Derby Rey Resources 2.5 Assessment completed October 2012; project appears dormant
Dudgeon Point North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation 180 Cancelled June 2014
Fitzroy Mitchell Group Holdings 22 No EIS within 2-year deadline; project lapse
Hunter Ports Hunter Ports 65 - 120
NCIG Coal Export Terminal Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group
Wiggins Island Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd 27 Delayed; now scheduled for 2015 Q1

Project background

  • Balaclava Island Coal Terminal is a proposed new export coal terminal which is currently being investigated by Xstrata Coal Queensland, a wholly owned subsidiary of Xstrata Coal. Balaclava Island is located approximately 40 kilometres north of Gladstone. In July 2008 Xstrata Coal announced that it would undertake a pre-feasibility study for a coal export port for up to 20 million tonnes of coal per annum.[5]
  • Wiggins Island Coal Terminal is a coal export terminal for the port of Gladstone which has been proposed by Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd, a consortium of 16 coal companies. At the end of September 2010 the consortium announced that eight coal companies had made commitments to export 27 million tonnes of coal which would be sufficient to enable the funding of the first stage of the terminal. The consortium stated that it expected that financing the proposal would be completed early in 2011 and shipments commence in 2014.[6]
  • Hunter Ports is currently developing a $2.5 billion coal terminal on the former BHP Steel site on the Hunter River in Newcastle, Australia.[7] The port would ship this coal to Asian markets.[8] The planned Hunter Ports terminal is subject to state government approval to use the proposed site, may start exports from 2015. Existing coal mines and projects in and around the Hunter Valley, where Rio Tinto Group and Xstrata Plc own mines, would support additional annual exports of 65 million to 90 million tons of coal “if there is the infrastructure".[8]


Canada

In 2012 Canada was the seventh largest coal exporting country in the world, mainly for coking coal: 31 million metric tons of coking coal and 4 million metric tons of steam coal (nearly 39 million short tons of coal total).[9] Coal exports to Asia accounted for 73% of total exports in 2010.[10]

About 80% of Canada’s coal exports are shipped through British Columbia. The following ports/terminals handle international and domestic shipments of coal:[11]

Westshore, Neptune, and Ridley Terminals are spending over $1 billion to increase the capacity of their terminals by more than 20 million tonnes.[11]

Colombia

Overview

Table 5: Colombia Coal Export Terminal Expansion Proposals

Project Sponsor Capacity
(millions tonnes per annum)
Status
Puerto Bolivar expansion Carbones del Cerrejon 12 Proposed
Puerto Brisa coal terminal Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Brisa S.A. 70 Opened October 2014
Puerto Nuevo coal terminal Prodeco (Colombian unit of Glencore 21 (initial) Opened May 2013
Puerto Drummond phase 1 Drummond 30 Completed 2014
Puerto Drummond phase 2 Drummond 30 August 2014
MPX Port CCX Colombia S.A. 30
Carbosan expansion Prodeco owned by Glencore

Colombia's coal exports grew from 68.5 million metric tons (75.5 million short tons) in 2008 to over 83 million metric tons (92 million short tons) in 2012, making it the fifth largest coal exporting country in the world in 2012.[12]

The majority of Colombia's coal exports are shipped to European markets due to shorter distances and lower freight costs compared to the rapidly growing Asian markets.[13] However, in mid-2015 the completion of the Panama Canal expansion will facilitate coal exports from Colombia's Atlantic coal to Asian markets.[14]

At the beginning of 2014, Colombia banned Drummond from exporting coal until it finished a direct loading port. The first phase of the new Puerto Drummond coal port (30 million tonnes per year) was completed in early 2014 and the second phase (an additional 30 million tonnes per year) was projected to be completed in August 2014.[15]

According to one report, experts predict that Colombia's coal exports will double. In addition to expanding capacity to handle the increased demand, the coal industry must also comply with a new environmental law requiring that coal be loaded directly onto ships rather than delivered by barge.

The following corporations are responsible for the bulk of Colombia's exports:[16]

  • Drummond 47%
  • Anglo American 16%
  • BHP Billiton 16%
  • Xstrata 16%
  • Other 5%

Indonesia

Overview

Table 6: Indonesia Coal Terminals

Location Terminal Operator Annual Capacity (MM Tonnes) Status
Central Java Tanjung Jati Coal Terminal 14 Existing
Central Java Tuban coal terminal 2 Existing
East Java Paiton coal terminal Existing
East Kalimantan Adang Bay Port 3 Existing
East Kalimantan Apar Bay anchorage Existing
East Kalimantan Balikpapan Coal Terminal PT Bayan Resources 15 Existing
East Kalimantan Banjarmasin anchorage 6 Existing
East Kalimantan Bengkulu Port 3 Existing
East Kalimantan Bontang Coal Terminal 18.5 Existing
East Kalimantan Muara Berau/Muara Jawa Coal Terminal Existing
East Kalimantan Muara Pantai Coal Terminal 6.5 Existing
East Kalimantan Samarinda anchorage 6 Existing
East Kalimantan Separi barge loading facility 20 Existing
East Kalimantan Taboneo anchorage Existing
East Kalimantan Tanah Merah Coal terminal Existing
East Kalimantan Tanjung Bara Coal Terminal 27 Existing
East Kalimantan Tanjung Batu - Tarakan 3 Existing
East Kalimantan Tarakan Coal Terminal 3 Existing
South Kalimantan Indonesian Bulk Terminal - South Pulau Laut Existing
South Kalimantan Jorong Port 6 Existing
South Kalimantan Muara Satui Barge Port Existing
South Kalimantan North Pulau Laut Coal Terminal Arutmin 13.2 Existing
South Kalimantan Pulau Laut Coal Terminal Existing
South Kalimantan Satui anchorage 3 Existing
South Kalimantan Sebuku anchorage 6 Existing
South Kalimantan Tanjung Pemancingan anchorage 3 Existing
Sumatra Jambi, Muara Sabak coal terminal 3 Existing
Sumatra Kertapati Coal Port 2 Existing
Sumatra Muara Banyu Asin anchorage, Palembang 3 Existing
Sumatra Padang, Teluk Bayur 4 Existing
Sumatra Port of Teluk Bayur 0.44 Existing
Sumatra Pulau Baai Coal Terminal 3 Existing
Sumatra Tarahan Coal Port 10 Existing
Sumatra Tembilahan, Sungai Bankong 3 Existing
West Java Cigading anchorage 3 Existing
West Java Suralaya coal terminal 11 Existing

Background

In 2011 Indonesia overtook Australia as the world's largest coal exporter, at a value of US$27 billion, according to IHS Cera.[17]

In contrast to Australia, which moves its coal exports through a limited number of large terminals, Indonesia's terminal capacity is divided among a larger number of less sizable facilities. Many of these terminals are located offshore, where coal is transshipped by barge from up-river mines.

A signature feature of the Indonesian coal industry is its lack of regulation by central authorities. In September 2005 the Washington Post reported on the staggering scale of coal-laden trucks -- which are notionally banned from public roads -- going all-night from "from scores of often-illegal mines" on their way to a local port. An anonymous senior official in Indonesia's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources raised doubt about the accuracy of the Indonesian government's official export figures. "I bet no one has current and accurate data about what is happening out there," he said.[18]

Since 2004 the top five destinations for Indonesian thermal coal has been India, China, Korea, Japan, and Taiwan.[19][20]

Corporate market share of Indonesian exports

The following corporations are responsible for the bulk of Indonesia's exports:[16]

  • Bumi Resources 28%
  • Banpu 23%
  • Adaro Indonesia 18%
  • Other 31%

Kazakhstan

From 2008 to 2012 Kazakhstan exported between 31,000 and 37,000 short tons of coal annually.[21] Of that, about 30 million tons of coal is exported annually to Russia, and in 2014 Kazakhstan said it plans to consider new exports to Europe, China, and other markets, as Russia plans to boost its domestic coal industry amid the economic slowdown.[22]

Mozambique

Overview

Table 8: Mozambique Coal Export Terminal Expansion Proposals

Project Sponsor Capacity
(millions tonnes per annum)
Status
Maputo port Maputo Port Development Company 6 Consortium exploring terminal
Beira port Mozambique government
Nacala port Vale 18 Operating 2014
Port of Quelimane unknown

Background

In Mozambique, only Beira Port currently provides coal facilities. Other Mozambique ports shown on the map are in various stages of development.

In March 2011, the then Australian company Riversdale Mining stated that it would invest $46 million in locomotives to carry coal from its Benga coal mine in Mozambique to Beira port. Riversdale will buy 11 locomotives and 200 railcars for the rail line. According to a Bloomberg report, the locomotives and railcars will probably be delivered in April 2011 before the mines starts exporting coal in September 2011. The Benga mine is expected to produce 5.3 million metric tons (mt) of metallurgic coal a year by the second half of 2011, some of it for the proposed Benga Power Plant. Output may rise to 20 million mt of met coal a year by 2013, of which 10 million mt will be exported. The project, jointly owned by Tata Power's Tata Steel, has an estimated coal reserve of 502 million mt.[23]

According to Riversdale's Managing Director Steve Mallyon a "scoping study", completed on a "Richards Bay-type" coal terminal in Mozambique in May 2011, looked likely. Richards Bay Coal Terminal is Africa’s largest coal terminal, with an annual capacity of 91 million tons. The location he was referring to was not reported.[24]

Nacala port is a possible location for a new export terminal for coal produced from the Moatize coalfield in Mozambique. A news report in 2009 cited Mozambique’s Transport Minister Paulo Zucula stating that the government had secured $500m from the Dutch government and the European Union to to build a new railway line from Moatize to the deep-water Nacala port by 2015.[25] In July 2011 it was announced that Vale began studies on building a coal terminal at Nacala port in northern Mozambique. The project is expected to cost about $1.5 billion.[26]

It has been reported that Mozambique's coal boom is occurring at a snail's pace as the country struggles to rebuild ports, roads and railways.[27]

Brazilian mining titan Vale reported in August 2011 that it delivered its first coal by train from its Moatize mine project to the Beira port and expects to export the coal in August 2011. The first train carried 2,200 metric tons of coal from Vale’s Moatize coal mine. Beira port is currently the only coal export port in Mozambique and is located at the end of the 660 kilometre-long Sena railway line which runs from Moatize, the current centre of the coal mining boom.[28]

Vale is the first of the major mining companies to start producing thermal and metallurgical coal from the Tete basin. The Moatize project will be able to produce up to 11 million tons of coal, 8.5 million tons of which will be metallurgical coal and 2.5 million tons thermal coal.[29]

Russia

Overview

  • Vera Port coal terminal: This 20 million tonne per year project near Cape Otkytiy is being developed by China's Shenhua International and Rostoc's Global Resources. The project will support the development of the Ogodzhinsky coal deposit in the Amur region.[30]

Background

In 2009, Russia exported 12.09 million tonnes of coal to China, up 1,500% over 2008.[31] In 2010, Russia shipped 32 million tons to India, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and China;[32] during the first half of 2010, Russia exported 6 million tonnes of coal to China, making it currently the fourth-largest coal exporter to China. Russia plans to increase annual coal exports to China to 15 million tonnes for the next five years, then increase exports to 20 million tonnes per year for the next 20 years;[31] overall, Russian officials have said they want to more than double coal exports to Asia to an annual 85 million metric tons by 2030.[33]

South Africa

South Africa has also become a major player in the global coal trade, exporting an estimated 69 million tonnes in 2006.[34] The bulk of this is exported to Germany, Spain and Japan.[35] The following corporations are responsible for the bulk of South Africa's exports:[16]

  • Anglo American 34%
  • BHP-Billiton 31%
  • Xstrata 20%
  • Other 14%

In 2012 South Africa was the sixth largest coal exporting country in the world, at 74 million metric tons.[36]

United States

See also: U.S. coal exports

Overview

Table 8: U.S. Pacific Northwest Coal Export Terminal Expansion Proposals
Project Location State Sponsor Current Capacity
(MM short tons)
Proposed Additional Capacity
(MM short tons)
Status
Coyote Island Terminal Port of Morrow in Boardman OR Ambre Energy 8.8 Permit rejected August 2014
Port Westward Port of St. Helens near Clatskanie OR Kinder Morgan Energy Partners 15-30 Cancelled May 2013
Gateway Pacific Terminal Cherry Point WA SSA Marine 54 Under review
Millennium Bulk Logistics Longview Terminal Longview WA Ambre Energy and Arch Coal 44 Under review
Port of Grays Harbor Hoquiam WA Rail America 5 Cancelled 2012
Port of Coos Bay Coos Bay OR Metro Ports 11 million short tons Cancelled April 2013


Table 9: U.S. Gulf and Atlantic Coast Coal Export Terminal Expansion Proposals
Project Location State Sponsor Current Capacity
(MM short tons)
Proposed Additional Capacity
(MM short tons)
Status
Port of Corpus Christi Corpus Christi TX New Elk Coal (parent: Cline Mining Corporation 2.0 Cancelled August 2013
Port of Houston Houston TX Kinder Morgan Energy Partners 2.2 Progressing
La Quinta Trade Gateway Houston TX SSA Marine 54 Cancelled 2012

Background

In 2007, the United States exported almost 60 million tons of coal,[37] and total 2008 exports grew to 81.5 million tons.[38]

In 2009, the U.S. exported 59 million short tons -- the downturn was attributed to the 2008 global economic depression.[39][40]

The U.S. exported 81.5 million tons of coal in 2010, the beginning of a steady annual increase.[41] By far, the greatest increase was exports to China, which rose from just 2,714 tons in 2009 to 2,916,710 tons in the first half of 2010.[42]

In 2011 the US exported 107.25 million tons of coal, the highest level of coal exports since 1991.[43] Exports continued to grow to 125.7 million tons in 2012, and then dipped slightly to 117.6 million short tons in 2013.[44]

Companies are exploring coal export terminals to increase US coal exports, particularly to Asia.[41]

Main export terminals

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, seaports in the Gulf Coast and East Coast account for most U.S. coal exports, with six seaports accounting for 94% of U.S. coal exports in 2010, up from 63% in 2000. The seaport at Norfolk, Virginia has consistently remained the largest export facility, making up one-third to one-half of U.S. coal exports since 2000. The next largest export terminal (at its peak) was Detroit, Michigan, which in 2006 accounted for 28% of U.S. exports, although coal exports have fallen more than 90% from a peak of over 16 million tons in 2008. Combined annual exports from Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland increased 18 million tons from 2000 to 2010. The EIA also said that "coal exports from Seattle, Washington have also risen sharply in recent years as significant coal production in the Powder River Basin seeks access to growing Asian coal markets."[45]

Northwest ports to be used to export Powder River Basin coal to Asian markets

For more information on the proposed port developments in the western United States please visit the Coal exports from northwest United States ports article.

Coyote Island Terminal at Port of Morrow

The Port of Morrow is the largest industrial port in Oregon east of Portland, and the town is home to Portland General Electric (PGE)'s Boardman Plant. In 2011, the Port of Morrow Commission approved a one-year lease option with Ambre Energy to build a rail off-loading coal terminal for coal exports to Asia.[46][47] In August 2014 the state of Oregon turned down the projects removal-fill permit, dealing a serious blow.[48][49]

Proposed Millennium Bulk Logistics Longview Terminal

In September 2010 Peabody Energy announced that "Coal's best days are ahead." Peabody stated that exports of coal from the Powder River Basin in Montana and Wyoming will be central to its expansion goals. The Oregonian in September 2010 reported that Northwest ports, and in particular ports in Portland, Oregon, may be used in the future to export coal to Asia. The Port of Portland said it doesn't have the space for coal exports in the short-term, but its consultants cited coal as a potential long-term market if it adds terminals on West Hayden Island.

Proposed Northwest Coal Export Locations.

In early November 2010 Australia-based Ambre Energy asked Cowlitz County officials in southern Washington State, which borders Oregon, to approve a port redevelopment that would allow for the export of 5 million tons of coal annually. On November 23 Cowlitz County officials approved the permit for the port redevelopment, which is to be located at the private Chinook Ventures port in Longview, Washington. Coal terminals also are proposed at two other sites along the Columbia River.[50]

Coalition Protests Ambre Energy's Push for Coal Exports.

Environmentalists stated that they would oppose any such actions, arguing that coal contributes to pollution and global warming.[51] Early discussion of how many jobs the port would produce was roughly twenty total.[52]

In November 2010 Powder River Basin coal producer Cloud Peak Energy CEO Colin Marshall stated that a coal port on the West Coast was "absolutely more than a pipedream."

Other Powder River Basin producers, including top US coal miner Peabody Energy, have talked about the potential for a new export facility on the West Coast, with Oregon and Washington being mentioned as the top locations of choice.[53]

Groups including the Sierra Club and Columbia Riverkeeper have vowed to stop the industry's expansion into Asia, a market currently dominated by coal from Australia and Indonesia.[54]

It was announced in early October 2012 that a joint environmental review of the proposed coal port would be conducted by Cowlitz County, the Washington Department of Ecology and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.[55] By November 2013 the review had generated more than 163,000 public comments for regulators, to be considered in the draft and final environmental review.[56]

In February 2014 state and local regulators said the environmental review will consider impacts that extend beyond the site, including global-warming effects from burning the exported coal in Asia and rail impacts as coal is shipped by train throughout the state. The announcement was seen as a victory for project opponents, who said the decision ensures that concerns over coal dust, greenhouse-gas emissions and rail traffic are addressed.[57]

Proposed Terminal: Gateway Pacific Terminal

The Gateway Pacific Terminal is a proposed terminal at Cherry Point near Ferndale, Washington, and would have a maximum capacity of about 54 million tons. On February 28, 2011, SSA Marine applied for state and federal permits for the $500 million terminal, triggering formal environmental review. If approved, SSA Marine said it would begin construction in early 2013 and operations in 2015.[58]

On March 1, 2011, Seattle-based SSA Marine announced it had entered into an agreement with St. Louis-based Peabody Energy to export up to 24 million metric tons of coal per year through the Gateway Pacific Terminal. Goldman Sachs owns a portion of SSA Marine's parent company. According to Peabody, the terminal in Whatcom County would serve as the West Coast hub for exporting Peabody's coal from the Powder River Basin of Wyoming and Montana to Asian markets. The project would ramp up potential U.S. coal exports to Asia from Washington state. Another coal export terminal proposed in Longview, the Millennium Bulk Logistics Longview Terminal in southwest Washington, has drawn environmental opposition. That Millennium Bulk Logistics terminal would be a joint venture between Australia-based Ambre Energy and Arch Coal.[59]

Environmental groups have appealed to Washington's Shoreline Hearings Board over a permit awarded for the port by Cowlitz County commissioners.[59]

According to Gateway Pacific Terminal's website the company plans on providing a "highly efficient portal for American producers to export dry bulk commodities such as grain, potash and coal to Asian markets." Additionally, the site contends that the "Gateway project will generate about 4,000 jobs and about $54 million a year in tax revenue for state and local services. Once in full operation, it's estimated that Gateway will provide almost $10 million a year in tax revenue, create about 280 permanent family-wage jobs directly, and nearly 1,400 additional jobs through terminal purchases and employee spending."[60]

During the week of June 6-10, 2011 SSA Marine filed a permit application the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. The application read:

"The applications submitted herein will cover the difference in scope between that approved project and our full buildout plan."

The earlier permit was noted in the application was approved by the Whatcom County Council in 1997. At that time, it envisioned a 180-acre development that would handle 8.2 million tons of cargoes per year, including petroleum coke (produced by local refineries) iron ore, sulfur, potash and wood chips. Coal was not mentioned an an export commodity in the earlier permit.[61]

Later in June 2011, Whatcom County officials announced that SSA must apply for a new permit for its proposed Gateway Terminal.[62]

The environmental review process began in 2012 and will continue through 2015. A timeline of the process is available here.

Draft environmental impact statements for the project are expected to be completed in mid-2015, after which the public will be invited to review and comment on the documents and participate in public hearings.[63]

Seward Coal Terminal, Alaska

The Seward Coal Loading Facility, referred to as the Seward Coal Terminal, was built in 1984 to provide for the export of coal from Usibelli Coal Mine. The facility consists of a railroad spur, a variety of coal storage and handling and loading equipment, as well as a large dock. The Alaska Railroad purchased the facility in 2003 and has performed a variety of upgrades including an ongoing expansion of the coal storage areas in anticipation of increased coal exports from Alaska.[64]

Railroad company looks at Port of Grays Harbor in Washington State for coal exports

It was reported in July 2011 that a railroad was looking at a Port of Grays Harbor terminal in Hoquiam, Washington for a terminal to ship coal to China. RailAmerica Vice Predident Gary Lewis told The Daily World of Aberdeen the idea would require further study and the project is several years from being completed.

RailAmerica owns the Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad that serves Grays Harbor. The port's potential coal export terminal, located on a former log yard, could bring another 75 ship calls a year to Grays Harbor.[65]

In August 2011 it was announced that RailAmerica was canceling its plan for a coal storage and export facility at the port's Terminal 3. The company said they believed there are other uses for the terminal that are more likely to generate jobs, tax revenues and business for the port and for the company, said Gary Lewis. As such plans to export coal from Grays Harbor were cancelled.[66]

Coal export studies

Resources

References

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