The International Energy Agency’s latest World Energy Outlook (WEO) shows continued strong growth in Asian demand for coal.
Demand for coal in the Asia Pacific is expected to increase by 492 mtce (million tonnes of coal equivalent) by 2040, including substantial growth in India and southeast Asia, which counteracts projected falls in China and Japan.
Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Matt Canavan welcomed the report, saying Australia’s proximity to these markets meant its coal industry was well placed to meet this growing demand.
“These figures show a bright future for Australia’s coal industry. They’re also a short, sharp shock for those who have set out to destroy confidence in our world-class coal industry. Coal is here and it’s here to stay,” he said.
Senator Canavan said the IEA had forecast Australia’s net exports of coal would grow by about 20 per cent, to around 430 mtce, by 2040. Approximately half of those exports will be metallurgical coal.
“Australia is the only exporting coal producer projected to significantly ramp up coal production over the period to 2040, supported by its strong resource base and proximity to Asian markets,” he said.
Senator Canavan said the report stated that its forecasts were ‘consistent with some mining development in the Galilee Basin’.
“All of this will require new mines, ports and other transport infrastructure to be developed, including in the Galilee Basin. This is great news for the Australian economy, and for the tens of thousands of Australian coal workers and their families,” he said.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Ian Macfarlane said the ongoing construction and use of high-efficiency low-emissions coal fired power stations in Asia meant there was a long-term market for efficient Queensland coal.
“There’s also a positive outlook modelled through to 2040 for Queensland’s met coal which is used for making steel that goes into everything from cars, to kitchens to wind turbines,” he said.
“And Queensland’s gas industry can power both domestic industry and international markets, with natural gas set to become the second-largest fuel in the global energy mix in 2030.
“All Queenslanders will welcome this positive report card on the global energy market, because it means benefits for every town and community in Queensland.”