Google Website Translator Gadget

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

NSW Government rejects Tinkler coal terminal

Tuesday, 31 Jan 2012 reported that NSW government has rejected Hunter Ports' proposed Terminal 5 coal loading point. This latest rejection is the fifth for Nathan Tinkler's coal loader in Mayfied.

An assessment by the government stated that the proposal's benefits were outweighed by its potentially adverse effects.

It went on to said that the creation of the coal loader created uncertainty in the industry as it could potentially jeopardise existing coal agreements at Port Waratah Coal Services new port.

Coal magnate Nathan Tinkler put forward the proposal for its AUD 2.5 billion coal loader in November last year.

Situated on the former BHP steelworks site, the coal loader will create a new rail link and reportedly remove around 90% of coal trains from residential areas, Hunter Ports claims.

Mr Steve van Barneveld MD of Hunter Ports explained that "A highlight of our plan is to create a new rail corridor through the industrial land adjacent to the Hunter River. This will remove an estimated 90% of coal trains from the main north-south line, permitting the closure of the Mayfield rail corridor and transforming the surrounding communities."

Tinkler stated that the government's assessment relied on advice from parties with existing infrastructure, the Newcastle Herald reports.

Port Waratah Coal Services said the decision of the O'Farrell Government to reject Tinkler's Hunter Ports' Terminal 5 provides certainty for the region, adding that its PWCS's proposed Terminal 4 will provide the Hunter Valley with enough coal loading capacity.

As part of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain plan the industry very clearly asked PWCS to deliver T4 to provide the next tranches of coal loading capacity.


Vale readies iron ore transshipment hub in Philippines

Tue Jan 31, 2012

* Ore Fabrica arrives in Philippines' Subic Bay port
* Ship is the biggest dry bulk floating storage vessel
* Comes ahead of two Valemaxes due in February

SINGAPORE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The world's largest dry bulk floating storage vessel, owned by Vale, has arrived in the Philippines as the Brazilian miner readies a base in the country to onship iron ore to top market China, port and shipping sources said on Tuesday.

Ore Fabrica, to be stationed in Subic Bay Freeport, is part of Vale's plan to make the Philippines a transshipment hub to overcome Chinese opposition to its new 400,000-tonne iron ore carriers, known as "Valemaxes".

The 280,000-deadweight-tonne Ore Fabrica will serve as a platform to transfer iron ore from the Valemaxes to smaller vessels for transport to Asian markets like China, Japan and South Korea.

"It was anchored yesterday. The vessel, which has a crane on it, will be used by Vale to transship iron ore from Valemaxes to two or three other ships," said a maritime source involved in the management of the vessel.

Previously a crude oil tanker, Ore Fabrica was converted by a Chinese shipyard to a floating storage vessel to be based in Subic Bay Freeport, located in the Philippines' main Luzon island, according to shipping data.

China, the world's largest iron ore importer, has yet to fully open its seaports to the giant Valemaxes after domestic ship owners strongly protested the arrival of the first and only vessel of the type into the country in late December.

Officials at Vale in Singapore were not immediately available for comment. A spokeswoman for Subic Bay Freeport said she was still checking with the company's seaport department.

Two Valemaxes are headed for Subic Bay port next month.

The 400,000-deadweight-tonne Vale Brasil is expected to arrive in Subic Bay Freeport on Feb. 12, shipping data showed. It wll be followed by the similar-sized Vale China on Feb. 22.

Apart from the Philippines, Vale is also setting up a transshipment centre in Malaysia.

The Brazilian miner in October broke ground for a $1.3 billion iron ore distribution centre in Malaysia's northern Perak state, which could be ready to handle the giant ships by 2014.

Vale is counting on a fleet of 35 Valemaxes to slash shipping costs to China to help it better compete with Australian rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto .

The 388,000-tonne Berge Everest was the first and only Valemax allowed into China, docking at Dalian Port on Dec. 28 to unload iron ore that has yet to be sold.

The China Shipowners Association has helped keep further ships from arriving at its domestic ports. The group fears the fleet will give Vale a monopoly on both the shipping and iron ore markets at China's expense.
(sourced Reuters)

CEO of Lakeside Steel steps down before JMC Steel takeover

Tue, 31 Jan, 2012

Welland, Ontario-based Lakeside Steel announced on Monday that its chairman and CEO, Vic Alboini, is stepping down before the takeover by Chicago, Illinois-based JMC Steel. Alboini will remain on the Board of Directors and independent director Norman Findlay will take over as interim chairman. The current President and COO, Ron Bedard, will serve as acting CEO.

On January 26, SteelOrbis reported that JMC Steel was the "strategic" buyer of Lakeside, a pipe manufacturer for the oil and gas industry that has suffered substantial financial losses in recent quarters. JMC purchased Lakeside for US$0.298 per share, which is an approximately 326 percent premium over the closing price of Lakeside's shares when Lakeside first made the announcement of a potential buyer on December 21, 2011.


TATA Steel Minerals signs rail deal to export ore through Quebec port

Tuesday, 31 Jan 2012

The Canadian Press reported that TATA Steel Minerals Canada Limited has entered into a rail deal to transport iron ore products from a JV project in Labrador to a Quebec port.

The deal, announced by TATA's JV partner, New Millennium Iron Corporation, will see product from their ore project transported from Emeril Junction NL, to Arnaud Junction in Sept Iles. The product will then be exported to Europe.

Under the confidential life of mine agreement with Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Co, TATA will supply the rail cars while the railway, a subsidiary of Iron Ore Company of Canada Limited, will supply the locomotives.

Mr Dean Journeaux president & CEO of New Millennium said that "This new agreement is an important step in the logistics process of delivering iron ore products to TATA Steel Europe."

Mr Journeaux added that the deal will provide cost and transport certainty for the project over the life of the mine, expected to be 15 years or more.

TATA Steel Limited, one of the world's largest steel producers, is New Millennium's largest shareholder, holding about 27% of its stock, as well as a strategic partner.

New Millennium controls the emerging Millennium Iron Range, located in Labrador and Quebec, which holds one of the world's largest undeveloped magnetic iron ore deposits. In the same area, the company is also advancing its DSO project to near term production. The project contains some 64 million tonnes of proven and probable reserves.


Fitch afrms Goyal Energy at 'Fitch B+(ind)'

Tue Jan 31, 2012

Jan 31 - Fitch Ratings has affirmed India-based Goyal Energy & Steel Pvt. Ltd.'s (GESPL) National Long-Term rating at 'Fitch B+(ind)'. The Outlook is Stable. A list of additional ratings is provided at the end of this commentary.

The affirmation reflects improvements in GESPL's net financial leverage (net adjusted debt/EBITDA) to 6.2x in the financial year ended March 2011 (FY11) from 9.6x in FY10, as its EBITDA margins increased to 4.7% from 2.5%. This is mainly due to higher average sales realisation per tonne of angles and channels at the company's rolling mill compared with previous year's and also because of partial backward integration through an ingots manufacturing facility.

The ratings, however, remain constrained by the company's tight liquidity position, as reflected through its continuous 100% utilisation and occasional over-utilisation of the fund-based limits by 0.5%-1%. The ratings are further constrained by the price volatility risk because GESPL buys its raw materials from the open market.

Positive rating guidelines include an improvement in GESPL's liquidity position in the next two quarters along with the maintenance of the current financial profile. Negative rating guidelines include any significant debt-funded capex leading to a decline in EBITDA margins and hence deterioration in net leverage to 10x.

In FY11, GESPL reported revenue of INR1,222.9m (FY10: INR1,160.4m). Its total adjusted debt increased to INR367.9m in FY11 (FY10: INR305.0m), while free cash flow (FCF), though improved, remained negative at INR126.5m (FY10: negative INR135.6m). Fitch expects FCF to remain negative in FY12 mainly due to the company's higher working capital requirements because of increased volume of business.

Fitch has also affirmed GESPL's bank facilities as follows:

- INR32.8m term loans: affirmed at 'Fitch B+(ind)'

- INR395m fund-based limits (increased from INR245m): affirmed at 'Fitch B+(ind)'

(sourced Reuters)

Monday, January 30, 2012

NMDC unlikely to reduce ore prices

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Hyderabad : NMDC Limited, the country's largest iron ore producer, is not in a hurry to reduce domestic ore prices in line with the drop in international prices.Even though NMDC's in-charge chairman and managing director, N K Nanda, was saying that the price drop was being examined, the company's board is unlikely to take a decision in this regard when it meets on Tuesday.

Nanda told Business Standard that the domestic prices of iron ore remained steady despite a decline in international prices. He attributed this to shortage of ore on account of ban on mining in different states and the imposition of 30 per cent import duty.In Karnataka last year, the Supreme Court allowed NMDC alone to operate its mines to the extent of providing 1 million tonnes per month to the domestic steel industry.

The order of the apex court had made it possible for the company to restart its Kumaraswamy mines also ( apart from Donamalai mines) where mining was stopped for quite some time due to Karnataka High Court order.NMDC is also getting a higher rate than its bench mark price through e-auctions. Nanda said that the price being realised through e-auctions was almost 10 per cent more than its bench mark price arrived by taking into consideration the prevailing international and domestic prices for a period of three months.

Given this scenario, NMDC is unlikely to reduce prices. NMDC sources earlierhad told Business Standard, that even if there is a drop, it would not be "much". According to them, there could be "some reduction" in the price of fines (Fe grade) but "very marginal" drop in the price of iron ore lumps which have a good demand in the domestic market.

Currently, NMDC is selling lumps at around Rs 5,000 and Fe grade ore at Rs 3,300 a tonne. On the other hand, the price of lumps in the international market is hovering around Rs 7,000 a tonne, about Rs 1,500 less than the price prevailed during the second quarter of this financial year.On the export front, the reduction international prices of ore do not have any impact on NMDC as it is not exporting any ore this year. It's agreement pertaining to the export of ore to the Japanese market has been expired and it is yet to be revived by the Union Cabinet.

NMDC accounts for 25 per cent of the total iron ore consumption in the country. In 2010-11, the Navaratna company had sold 23.75 million tonnes of ore, while the total requirement of domestic industries stood at around 100 million tonnes. (sourced BS)

Europe ARA thermal coal trades at $105/mt for Mar-delivery

Monday, January 30, 2012, Rabi-ul-Awal 06, 1433

London (Platts)- The European-delivered CIF ARA thermal coal physical market saw a March-delivery cargo trade at $105/mt first thing Monday morning, 50 cents higher than Platts Friday 90-day assessed price, although on par with the March prompt-month assessment.

The deal for 50,000 mt of generic-origin material for delivery into Rotterdam went through via the globalCOAL screen with exchange of futures for physical terms attached. It was said to have taken place between two northwestern European utilities.

The CIF ARA market has been quiet in recent weeks, with ample stocks in ARA limiting coal demand. Physical levels have been mostly tracking the moves of the financial derivatives market, which in turn have been supported by strong macroeconomics, a higher energy complex, imminent colder weather and short-covering.

(sourced Platts)

Coal-fired energy BD signs power plant deal with Delhi

Monday, January 30, 2012, Rabi-ul-Awal 06, 1433

Dhaka —The Power Development Board (PDB) on Sunday penned an agreement with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India to build a 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Bagerhat’s Rampal. The PDB signed its first-ever joint venture deal with a foreign firm at a ceremony at Bidyut Bhaban in the city. Finance Minister AMA Muhith and other top government officials of both the countries attended the event.

A five-member team of the NTPC led by Indian Power Secretary P Uma Shankar arrived in Dhaka on Saturday to sign the agreement. The PDB and the NTPC will implement the $1.5 billion project on a 50:50 equity basis. The NTPC will set up and operate the plant. Meanwhile, the cabinet committee on purchase gave final approval to seven more power plants with a combined generation capacity of 570 megawatts, which will be set up in the private sector. This is the first time, bidders for the furnace oil-based power plants made their tariff quotations in taka instead of the dollar. It means the tariff rate will not go up if the dollar soars in future, the Power Division said in its proposal.

The Power Division said it has approved the work order for the gas-based power plants on condition that 70 percent of the investment will be foreign. The 100MW to 170MW gas-based combined cycle power plant will be set up in Fenchuganj of Sylhet. The Power Division awarded the work order to a consortium of SNPC-Kushiara-DBPL, the lowest bidder.

The government will purchase electricity from the firm at Tk 2.83 per kilowatt. They will supply power to the national grid in 22 months.A consortium of Rupali Engineers & Traders Ltd of Bangladesh (lead firm) and PT Priamanaya of Indonesia became the lowest bidder to set up two 50MW furnace oil-based power plants.

The plants will be set up in Singair in Manikganj and Daulatpur in Nawabganj, Dhaka. The consortium quoted a tariff charge of Tk 6.99 a unit for electricity from both the plants. Another 50MW power plant will be set up in Kamalaghat Bazar, Munshiganj. The Power Division has recommended the consortium of Samuda Chemical Complex Ltd (lead firm), Samuda Power Ltd and ASM Chemical Industries Ltd for approval. The consortium proposed a tariff charge of Tk 7.17 a unit. Three more power plants will also be set up in Keraniganj, Bhairab and Satkhira.


Europe Power-Cal '13 at four-week high on weather

Mon Jan 30, 2012

* German Cal '13 baseload at 52.70 eur/MWh
* Spot mixed, France up, Germany down
* Coal and gas prices higher

FRANKFURT, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Europe's power forwards curve continued a price recovery begun last week on signs of colder weather settling in and higher fuels prices, with the benchmark German Cal '13 contract at four week highs.Traders said that a firmer spot price trend needed to become visible for Germany before a lasting curve uptrend could be expected.

"There just have not been any surprising prompt prices all winter, any explosions there and the curve could jump as a matter of general power sentiment," one said.German baseload for delivery next year was at 52.70 euros a megawatt hour, up 45 cents from Friday's two-week high and the highest since Dec. 30's 53.25 euros level, according to Reuters data.French Cal '13 base was at 52.50 euros, up 1.35
euros from Friday.

The country is extremely sensitive to cold snaps as it relies more on electrical heaters than Germany which has a well established oil and gas-based heat infrastructure. Temperatures in the region will slide to minus 1 to minus 9 for the daytime maximum levels by Wednesday compared with a range of minus 4 to plus 2 degrees Celsius recorded on Sunday, according to a report by German met office DWD.

French Tuesday power jumped 1.25 euros compared with what was paid for Monday to 54.75 euros, at a 5.65 euros premium over Germany. Germany's day ahead delivery position eased 1.15 euros to 49.10 euros as greater demand was more than offset by projections for wind power capacity usage reaching 10,000 MW on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thermal plant outages were limited and the trend this week is anticipated for around 4 percent more capacity becoming available in the Germany/Austria region.

(sourced Reuters)

South African Coal Export Prices Rise to Highest Since November

Mon, Jan 30, 2012

Coal export prices at South Africa’s Richards Bay, the continent’s biggest terminal for shipping the fuel, advanced to the highest level in nearly three months.

Prices (CLSPSARB) rose $3.26, or 3.1 percent, to an average $107.17 a metric ton in the week ended Jan. 27, according to data on Bloomberg from IHS McCloskey. That’s the steepest increase since Dec. 23 and the highest level since Nov. 4.

The price is quoted on a free-on-board basis, which excludes delivery costs.

(sourced Bloomberg)

China’s 2011 thermal power spending falls 26pct

Monday, 30 January 2012 sourced:Bloomberg

China spent 26 per cent less on building thermal power stations in 2011 than a year earlier as utility profits declined amid rising fuel costs and increases in electricity demand.

Investments in thermal plants, which include coal, oil and gas-fired generators, dropped to 105.4 billion yuan ($16.7bn), according to a report published on the website of the National Energy Administration today.

Profit margins at generators in China, the world’s biggest energy consumer, were squeezed by state-capped electricity tariffs and coal prices that rose to a three-year high in October. The government needs to promote spending in the sector to counter problems of shortages, said Dave Dai, the regional head of clean energy and utilities research at Daiwa Securities Capital Markets Ltd in Hong Kong.

“The fall in investment is mostly due to the power producers’ tough financial situation in the second half,” Dai said in an e-mail. “The government will need to help the producers become more profitable either in terms of tariff hikes or any type of reform to help sustain long-term return, to encourage more investments.”

Total spending for all types of power utilities fell 2.4bn yuan, or 0.3 per cent, to 739.3bn yuan in 2011 from a year earlier, according to the NEA. Nuclear power investments rose 14 per cent to 74bn yuan and hydro power gained 15 per cent to 94bn yuan, it said.

China raised the price of electricity paid to producers on December 1 after freezing tariffs for half a year to contain inflation.

Datang International Power Generation Co’s third-quarter net income fell 54 per cent from the year ago period, according to an October 25 statement to the Shanghai Stock Exchange. expansion.

China’s electricity generation in 2011 climbed 12 per cent to 4.6 trillion kilowatt-hours, according to data released on January 17 by the Beijing-based National Bureau of Statistics.

India Govt should exempt levy over coal for affordable power

Mon, Jan30, 2012

NEW DELHI (Commodity Online): To ensure the accessibility of power at affordable costs, the industry body the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) wants the India Government to exempt thermal or steam Coal from basic customs duty and countervailing duty.

The customs duty and countervailing duty for thermal or steam coal which increase the power tariff by 25 paise per unit and go against the basic tenets of ensuring long-term fuel sustainability and energy security.

Power sector is one of the highest taxed due to non-availability of any input tax credit on excise, countervailing duty, value added tax and service tax and the imported coal is subject to imposition of 7.55% customs duty for imports from Indonesia and 10.83% for imports from other countries.

According to DS. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, higher power tariff tends to have recessionary impact due to cascading effect on all goods and services. Major countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Brazil do not levy any customs duty on import of thermal coal.

In addition, there is countervailing duty of five per cent. This distorts the field in favour of domestic Coal based projects and discourages investments in imported coal based projects.

Also the independent power producers resorting to coal imports are adversely affected by the volatility in prices of imported coal, unpredictable long-term pricing arrangements, volatility in shipping rates and exchange rates, logistical and infrastructural constraints for moving imported coal from ports to power stations.

“To bridge the gap in demand and supply, the emphasis is clearly on importing thermal coal or acquiring new mines abroad. It is anticipated that shortage of domestic coal will continue to persist over the medium term as the additional coal generation programme is not likely to catch up with the growing demand led by aggressive capacity addition to align with economic growth targets.”said Rawat.

Thermal generation (coal, lignite and gas) continues to play 65% share of generation capacity with domestic coal supply not sufficient to meet the requirements.

(sourced Commodity

Hebei iron ore prices steady after Chinese New Year

Monday, 30 Jan 2012

Iron ore prices are steady in Northern China’s Hebei on January 29, with levels holding steady amid thin trade. Mills have resumed operation on the end of national holiday but most miners and beneficiation plants are likely to be back to work till February 06.

As sentiment turned positive on post-holiday market, part trading companies raised quotations by 10 yuan. Currently mills have yet resumed restocking and thereby leaving their purchase prices steady.

In Tangshan and Qi’an, mills set purchase prices of 66% concentrates at around CNY 1,240 to CNY 1,250 versus miners’ quotation of CNY 920, In Zunhua and Qian’xi, mills buy 66% fines at around CNY 1,220 to CNY 1,230 compared with the quotation of CNY 890 to CNY 900 from miners.


Work starts on re opening of Angolan iron ore project

Monday, 30 Jan 2012

The Angolan news agency Angop reports that prospecting work has started aimed at the re-opening of iron ore and manganese mines in Kassala-Kitungo, which is in Angola’s Kwanza Norte province.

The project, which is part of public-private partnership involving state mining company Empresa Nacional de Ferro de Angola (Ferrangol) and Angola Exploration Mining Resources was launched in the first half of 2011, when the access route and galleries at the mine were re-opened manually.

At the time Ferrangol chairman Diamantino Azevedo said that geological surveys were due to be carried out to establish the quality and quantity of ore at the mine, as well as its potential lifetime. After meeting a number of prerequisites, he said, AEMR planned to draw up the feasibility projects for mining and processing the ore.

Azevedo added that the public-private partnership for iron ore mining also included the Cassinga project in Huila province, prospecting work for which was being concluded, with mining due to begin this year.

(Sourced from

TABLE-Japan's December and 2011 coking coal imports by source

Mon Jan 30, 2012

TOKYO, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Following is a table of customs-cleared coking coal imports for December
released by Japan's Ministry of Finance on Monday.Figures are converted from yen to U.S. dollars using Japan Customs' official conversion rate. Volumes areexpressed in tonnes.

Country         Dec       Dec          Nov       Nov    M/M   Yr/Yr          YTD        YTD   TD (Yr/Yr %)

Name Tonnes $/Tonne Tonnes $/Tonne % % Tonnes $/Tonne Tonnes
China 77,351 171.74 23,973 178.00 222.7 6.8 1,098,188 251.31 82.2
Indonesia 1,145,693 136.19 1,444,516 150.04 -20.7 -17.0 14,655,845 133.35 -18.4
India - - 3 6,448.47 -99.9
Russia 141,643 214.63 204,243 255.27 -30.6 0.7 2,527,126 249.75 10.0
Canada 672,571 300.59 429,324 287.53 56.7 -18.4 7,344,661 274.40 -14.2
USA 362,264 319.31 682,146 294.51 -46.9 36.1 5,725,355 268.03 111.9
Mexico - - 75,764 304.83
Colombia - - 61,844 300.11
Australia 2,577,034 244.27 3,784,261 263.13 -31.9 -33.5 36,737,577 246.97 -16.5
New Zealand 165,402 276.60 - 418,422 256.38 -11.8
Total 5,141,958 231.98 6,568,463 242.56 -21.7 -21.6 68,644,785 227.74 -10.5

(Sourced Reuters)

Review on Inner Mongolia raw coal output in 2011

Monday, 30 Jan 2012

Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, as the country’s largest coal producer, produced 979 million tonnes of raw coal in the whole of 2011, 25.1% more than that in 2010.

Shanxi province came in second, with 870 million tonnes of coal produced, up 17.7% from a year ago.

In December alone, raw coal output in Inner Mongolia stood at 76 million tonnes, increasing 17% compared with the same month of last year.


Kloeckner CEO sees Europe steel demand down in 2012

Mon Jan 30, 2012

FRANKFURT Jan 30 (Reuters) - Kloeckner & Co , Europe's largest independent steel trader, expects Europe's demand for steel to drop significantly this year, its chief executive told a German newspaper.

"We are preparing ourselves for a drop in steel demand in Europe of up to 5 percent this year, it could even be worse," Gisbert Ruehl told Financial Times Deutschland in an interview published on Monday.

Europe's debt crisis has undermined consumer confidence, hit industrial output and raised the spectre of recession in the single currency zone, leaving clients reluctant to stock their inventories in a sector that swings swiftly to match economic cycles.

(sourced Reuters)

Japan Tohoku Electric shuts coal fired unit

Monday, 30 Jan 2012

Japanese utility Tohoku Electric Power Co said on Saturday a 134 megawatt coal-fired unit at its Itoigawa plant in northwestern Japan was shut late on Friday night because of supply issues.

The utility could not yet forecast a time for restarting the unit or provide further details.

(Sourced from Thomson Reuters)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

CIL set to reduce coal prices this month

Sunday, 29 Jan 2012

Coal India Ltd the biggest coal miner in the world, will announce the new set of coal prices this month, before the acting chairman Mr NC Jha retires on January 31st 2012. The decision comes after the ministry formally asked CIL to relook its January 1 pricing.

Mr Jha in an informal interaction said that "We were planning to revisit the pricing in March. But the coal ministry had formally sent a letter on January 25 asking us to relook the prices now to prevent any major impact from the previous prices regime. But, GCV (Gross Calorific Value) mechanism will not be rolled back.”

Mr Jha added that "The revised GCV pricing will be done in consultation with coal ministry officials within end of the month adding that January 1 pricing was also done with the ministry's consultation. As switchover from Useful Heat Value concept to GCV had happened under me, so I'll address the price issue before I retire.”

He added that the revised pricing that CIL is working on would benefit or reduce the price shock mainly in C, D, and upper E grades of coal under UHV category.

Mr Jha accepted that the January 1 pricing benefited CIL by close to 12.5% in additional revenue and the new pricing will eliminate most of it. Besides, he said, the new wage agreement will have additional burden of at least INR 4,000 crore annually at a time when CIL production is slipping from the target.

The revised GCV pricing of the coal will deviate from the Coal ministry's and Planning Commission's long term roadmap to link Indian coal with international coal. Mr Jha said that "The January 1 pricing was based on discount on import price but now the pricing would be done on what the consumers were paying in UHV regime.”

CIL had attempted to reduce the gap of landed international coal price with domestic coal which was as high as close to 75 per cent in certain coal varieties like C, D and part of E grades. However, Jha conceded that gradually, the new concept will achieve its goal gradually in future.

Asked about large number of complaints about high ash and moisture content and inconsistent quality in CIL coal compared to international coal, Mr Jha said "for that we have kept band of 300 kcal for each band of grades, while, price for international coal changes in narrow band of 50 kcals".


QR National upgrades Blackwater Coal System

Sunday, 29 Jan 2012

QR National is on track to double the electric capacity of the rail system connecting coal mines west of Rockhampton to the export terminals at Gladstone.

The rail freight provider said that it has commissioned the first of four new electrical feeder stations in the Blackwater coal system as part of its major AUD 195 million electrification upgrade project.

One of the largest upgrades since the initial electrification of the Central Queensland Coal Network in the 1980s, the project will allow more new high-capacity electric trains to operate on the Blackwater network.

Construction and commissioning of the AUD 55 million feeder station at Raglan, 60 kilometres south of Rockhampton, is the first to be completed and will be followed by new electrical feeder stations at Wycarbah, Duaringa and Bluff in Central Queensland.

Commissioning of these remaining three feeder stations will follow progressively over the coming months, with the entire electrification project on track for completion in June 2012, six months ahead of schedule.

Mr Michael Carter executive vice president of QR National Network said that the company has delivered the Raglan works under budget, despite the construction challenges posed by Queensland’s wet weather last year.

He added that “The hard work of our project delivery team means we remain on track to complete the Blackwater Power Project by the middle of the year, at which time the entire system will be electrified by Powerlink and the extra capacity will take effect.”

The Blackwater Power Project is designed to cater for the growing coal export demand in the region.

Completed works at Raglan include the establishment of the feeder and connecting stations, as well as track sectioning cabins at Bajool and Mount Larcom.

The upgrades will see 33 all-electric locomotives in operation upon completion in 2012.


Industrea wins coal mine contract

Sunday, 29 Jan 2012 reported that Industrea has renewed its mining contract at the Baralaba South mine in the Bowen Basin. The contract, with AUD 38 million annually, will see Industrea provide whole of mine services at the mine, including drill and blast works. It will run until December 31st 2013.

Industrea originally won the contract in 2009, and since then has completed various work including the construction of the recently completed 1:1000 flood levee wall extension.

At the end of 2010 severe flooding saw the Baralaba mine inundated with water.

Mr Robin Levison CEO of Industrea stated that the renewal is a demonstration of the strong relationship between it and Cockatoo Coal, which owns Baralaba. He added that "Subject to production volumes at the mine there is an option for Baralaba Coal to continue contract services in 2014".

(sourced Miningaustralia)

German iron ore import in 2011 up by 34.6%

Sunday, 29 Jan 2012

According to a report released by the German Federal Statistical Office in December 2011 the import price of iron ore increased by 14.6% YoY in Germany, while it decreased by two percent as compared to November.

In December, the average import price of pig iron, steel and ferroalloys in Germany fell by 2.8% YoY while it decreased by 0.2% compared to November.In 2011, the index of import prices for iron ore was up 34.6% over the previous year's average level, while the import price index for iron and steel and ferroalloys increased 8.8% in 2011 compared to 2010.