Electricity Is The Largest End-Use Industry In The Coal Mining Market

Coal is a combustible rock, composed of lithified plant remains and contains macerals, minerals and water. The coal market is segmented by type of coal into bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal, lignite and anthracite, which are extracted by underground mining, strip mining, culm bank mining, and other surface mining techniques. The major end-user industries of coal are electricity generation, steel, cement, and others (including coal gasification and liquefaction, chemicals, paper, aluminum, and specialist products such as activated carbons, carbon fibers and silicon metals).

Globally, the electricity segment of the coal mining market by end-use industry was the largest in 2017, accounting for 57.3% of the global coal consumption volume, followed by the cement segment at 9.3%, and the steel segment at 4%. The others segment accounts for 29.4% of the global coal consumption volume.

Electricity was also the largest segment in the US, at 92% of the coal consumption volume in 2017. Electric power generation companies use non-coking or thermal coal to produce electricity in coal-fired power plants.

The increasing share of coal in power generation in some countries will be a driver of the global coal market between 2018 to 2022. About 20 countries are turning to coal for power generation, including nine in Africa (Democratic Republic Congo, Egypt, Côte d`Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambic, Niger, Senegal and Tanzania), three in Central America (Dominican Republic, Panama, and Salvador), two in the Middle East (the UAE and Jordan) and three in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia and Myanmar). By 2025, more than 65 coal-fired power plants could be commissioned in these countries, representing a capacity of 50 GW. Significant increases in coal use are also expected in Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia. Countries such as China, India and Indonesia, where electricity is produced primarily from coal, will significantly reduce the share of coal in their power mix, but not below 35%, due to the abundance of domestic coal reserves and their economic attractiveness. The continued demand for coal in power generation globally and increasing share of coal in power generation in some countries will drive the coal market going forward.

In most Western European countries, coal consumption is attributed mainly to the production of electric energy power plants and to the industrial sector. The UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Spain are the major regions in Western Europe’s coal market. Except in France, the electricity segment is the largest end-user industry in all these countries. Steel is the largest segment in France’s coal mining market.

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