German importers of hard coal for power generation and steelmaking have found new supply sources, enabling them to replace Russia coal after a European Union ban, said industry association VDKi.
VDKi noted imported have found new sources from the U.S., South Africa and Colombia for coal supplies. In January-October 2022, Russian coal accounted for 34% of Germany's total coal imports. Before the ban, Russia has long been the main supplier for hard coal for Germany.
The U.S. accounted for 20% of imports in the 10-month period, followed by 15% from Colombia, 14% from Australia and 7% from South Africa, data showed.
Ever since the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there was concern about the EU countries' response to the reduced supplies of Russian gas, raising fears of related heat and power crunches, especially in winter.
Coal now needs to be recognized as a back-up option for years to come, not just for one or two winters, said VDKi Chairman Alexander Bethe. "There is no way around coal as a pillar of energy supply," said Bethe.
Hard coal imports into Germany in 2022 amounted to 43 million tonnes, up 4.7% from 2021, preliminary VDKi data also showed. Among that, 30 million tonnes were thermal coal, up 11.7% on the year, while coking coal imports declined 7.3% to 11 million tonnes.
Coke imports dropped 15% from 2021 to 2 million tonnes.
(Writing by Rebecca Liu Editing by Tammy Yang)
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