Coal boom expected


Zimbabwe’s coal mining industry which was boosted by the opening of the Sengwa Coal Mine could be in for a big boom if the owners can solve their financial problems in the case of Wankie Colliery and transport restrictions in the case of Sengwa.

The world coal trade will grow steadily over the next 20 years, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe says in a new study.

According to a London-based confidential most of the increase in output will be outside Europe. This will be good news for Africa, particularly the dominant producer, South Africa, but could also be seized upon by Nigeria, which has vast untapped reserves of high quality, low sulphur coal and started an export drive last year.

Sengwa also produces high quality, low sulphur coal, which is in great demand.

Global coal consumption could increase by 50 million tonnes annually to the year 2000 and by rather less in the next 10 years.

Total annual consumption could be 4.3 billion tonnes by 2010 up from 3.5 billion tonnes currently, and the most active market will be thermal power generation.

The main producers will continue to be the same eight countries that produce more than 80 per cent of the world’s production now. These are Australia, China, Poland, India, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine, and the U.S

But Poland, Russia and Ukraine are expected to lose markets. Western Europe is expected to depend increasingly on imported coal from 40 percent of its needs now to 70 percent by the year 2010.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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