Jan 18, 2023
Top Coal Shipper Australia Orders Miners to Reserve Fuel
(Bloomberg) -- Some thermal coal producers in one of the world’s biggest suppliers will be asked to hold back more fuel for local use.
New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state and biggest coal producer after Queensland, will introduce regulation by the end of this month that will force an unspecified number of miners to hold back as much as 10% of thermal coal output, the office of Treasurer Matt Kean said Thursday.
The state is seeking to address a shortfall of about 4 million tons, or about 2.5% of the nation’s total anticipated shipments this year, the Australian newspaper reported late Wednesday.
The move would follow previous measures by the state, home to the world’s largest coal exporting terminal, to avoid a repeat of the strains on the electricity grid that last year led to an unprecedented suspension of the main power market. The national government has also sought to ease domestic shortfalls and in December passed a law capping local thermal coal prices at A$125 ($86) a ton for a period of 12 months in a bid to ease cost of living pressures.
Australia ships most of the thermal coal it produces abroad, with exports estimated to rise to a record of almost A$76 billion in the year to June. It isn’t clear which companies will be subject to the proposed rules. Whitehaven Coal Ltd. on Thursday said it expected further details from the state government in the coming days, and confirmed it wasn’t subject to the policies announced in December.
--With assistance from Ben Westcott.
(Updates with NSW Government comment in second paragraph)
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