CAPE TOWN – Although the world is switching to renewable energy there is still a big demand for coal around the globe.
This is according to Canyon Coal’s executive chairperson, Vuslat Bayoglu speaking at the 14th Annual Southern African Coal Conference at the Westin Hotel yesterday.
Bayoglu was part of panel participating in a session for Southern African Coal Leaders Summit.
Presenting a slide showing the total coal consumption for 2017 among the biggest users he said China consumed 3 500 million tons followed by India using 1 000 million tons and the US and Europe using slightly less.
“There is a big demand for coal, we can’t really deny it. We all like renewables, we would like to have more renewables but the reality is that the world is using to coal to power the country,” said Bayoglu.
He added that there were 1 600 new coal plants in 62 countries around the world.
“If you look at this map, US, Europe, China, especially south east Asia and Africa, all over the world there are new coal plants being built. If you look at the coal mining industries in the world. Like RioTinto sold their coal mines and Anglo America sold their Eskom coal supplying mines, South32 is in the process of selling theirs.
"Who is going to supply their coal to the world? So it is a big question right, there are people here from different parts of the world who wants to buy coal. Do you think they want to buy coal from one company? Is it healthy? There is only one company here who is growing and we all know who that is (Exxaro, South Africa’s biggest coal producer),” he said.
Bayoglu said it is important to have a healthy supply and coal mining is not a bad industry and the world needs it.
“It is not all bad on the coal side, technology with carbon captive storage there are facilities all over the world accept Southern Africa and with more investment in carbon captive storage, the world can deal with co2 emissions,” he said.
Minister Gwede Mantashe, the Minister of Mineral Resources said during his keynote address earlier that mining is an important sector of the South African economy, contributing 7 percent to GDP and contributes 40 percent to the foreign earnings of the country.
“It means that it is actually one of the sectors that sustains our current account, otherwise if it was not for mining we would have a huge current account deficit in the economy and therefore it is my considered view that we can grow the economy but if we want to organise that there is a few things we could do,” said Mantashe.
He said the first thing is that the mining sector must take pride in itself as a contributor to the economy and secondly, the sector must turn the negative narrative against it.