‘The Prospects for Coal Exports Are Dimming, but Politics Have Little to Do with it’

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Benjamin Storrow for the Casper Star Tribune: Political flaps over coal exports get the headlines. But a deteriorating market poses a greater threat to American mining firms’ dreams of establishing a beachhead in Asia.Exports were widely viewed as a lifeline for the United States’ contracting coal industry as recently as 2014. Some analysts predicted mines in the western U.S. could annually ship up to 200 million tons to Asia, or roughly half of what Wyoming’s mines produced at their peak in 2012.Slowing economic growth, a worldwide glut of coal and high shipping costs have clouded the picture since, leaving Indonesia and Australia better positioned to compete in Asia’s contracting import market.“It doesn’t look as promising as it did in the past,” said Andy Roberts, an international coal analyst at the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. It was Roberts who made the prediction in 2014 that mines in the western U.S. could ship up to 200 million tons annually.“At one time, PRB (coal) could be sold into Asia for a price 20 times above its cost and still compete with Indonesia,” he said. “In other words, plenty of room to make a profit. Today, to make that same sale you would have to make a sale at 12 times below costs.”Wood Mackenzie no longer assumes a series of coal export terminals proposed in the Pacific Northwest will be built.The shift reflects the sea change in global coal markets. American thermal exports, always a sliver of domestic production, are down 40 percent since their peak in 2012, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects them to decline by another 20 percent in 2016.The upheaval in the economic landscape comes as proposed terminals in the Pacific Northwest find themselves facing mounting political hurdles. The U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers last week rejected the Gateway Pacific Terminal in Bellingham, Washington, citing tribal fishing rights. SSA Marine, the project developer, is mulling an appeal.,,,The greatest factor behind the increasingly gloomy outlook for coal exports, though, is China. The world’s second-largest economy has driven global coal demand in recent decades.Chinese annual coal consumption grew at an average rate of 9 percent between between 2003 and 2011, according to the U.S. Energy Information Information Administration. That rate is expected to slow to .3 percent between now and 2040.The slowdown in Chinese coal consumption is due to several factors. Economic growth has slowed and the need for imports along the coast waned. Beijing recently announced plans to halt construction of 200 gigawatts of new coal power, enough to supply Great Britain, in attempts to battle air pollution. And, most important, China’s economy is undergoing structural changes, moving away from energy-intensive heavy industries and toward a consumer-based economy.“There is no basis for the argument that a robust global coal market will exist in the next 10 years, 15 years, 25 years,” said Tom Sanzillo, director of finance at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, a think tank that has argued for a shift from coal.Full article: http://trib.com/business/energy/the-prospects-for-coal-exports-are-dimming-but-politics-have/article_f59da9b2-f454-588c-99dc-315c6fcc2609.html ‘The Prospects for Coal Exports Are Dimming, but Politics Have Little to Do with it’last_img read more

TECT Aerospace has immediate openings for second and third shift machinists

first_imgSubmitted to Sumner Newscow — TECT Aerospace has immediate openings for second and third shift machinists for our Wellington facility.  Requirements include a previous work history of three years or more five axis machining.TECT Aerospace offers an excellent benefit package including medical, dental, vision, 401k, life insurance, tuition reimbursement and paid time off.Apply in person by application at 1515 N. A in Wellington or send resumes to [email protected] Aerospace is an equal opportunity employer.last_img read more