South Africa must turn its coal resource endowment into revenue, jobs and broader economic development said Canyon Coal Executive Chairperson Vuslat Bayoglu.
Speaking at a Coaltrans Southern Africa conference in Sandton. Bayoglu said with 118 years of coal resources left, which translates to 30.8 billion t, the coal sector needed maximum support to compete in international markets with countries such as Indonesia. Indonesia’s coal output is expected to grow exponentially while South Africa’s is set to decline over the 20 years.
“Indonesia is predicted to reach over 800 million t of coal production by 2030, while South Afric is to decline to less than 200 million t. South Africa could easily emulate Indonesia’s success if government, investors and miners band together to provide the sector with the industry support that it requires.” Bayoglu commented.
Bayoglu reminded the delegates that coal was a key driver of modernity and innovation. He outlined the historical and global significance of coal stating “The invention of the steam engine and all that flowed from it, including the industrial revolutions which benefitted the modern world powers of Europe and the US. Which undeniably came from the coal and its beneficiation for use in power generation and steel manufacturing.”
Coal mining played a fundamental role in ushering peace and stability to post WWII Europe. By providing stable power and being the key ingredient for the European coal and steel community, which was the precursor to the European Union.
Moreover, the world’s energy demand continues to increase exponentially. With analysts forecasting global energy demand to reach 739 quadrillion Btu by 2040. With coal forecast to comprise 161 quadrillion Btu.
Noting the growing global energy demand. Bayoglu highlighted that the spur in demand would be supported by the 1160 coal plants that are planned or under construction in 62 countries worldwide. These new plants would expand the world’s coal-fired power capacity by 43%. In addition to the 6678 coal mine operating around the world.
While Europe’s coal had dropped owing to the growth of renewables and their existing gas and oil supplies; South Africa does not have this luxury at its disposal. In Southern Africa, there is a growth in coal projects being developed in Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Moreover, South Africa is far ahead of the other countries in Southern Africa. Owing to its long history of coal mining, developed infrastructure and skilled workforce.
Article courtesy of World Coal Magazine