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Coal Shipments to the US Power Sector Continue to Fall - EIA

Coal News - Published on Tue, 17 Sep 2019

Image Source: eia.gov
The US Energy Information Administration said that nearly 600 million short tonnes of coal was shipped to the US electric power sector in 2018, the lowest level since 1983. More than 75% of the coal delivered to the power sector last year was shipped either completely or in part by rail; the remainder was shipped by river barge, truck, and other methods. Plant location and access to the rail system largely determine the primary way a power plant receives its coal. River barge (waterway) is often the most cost-effective method of transporting large quantities of coal over long distances, but this option is limited to plants located on suitable rivers. Transporting coal by rail is more expensive on a per-tonnage basis, but it is the dominant mode for transportation because of the extensive railway network that covers the United States and because coal is produced in relatively few parts of the country.

Nearly all US coal comes from four regions: the Powder River Basin, the Illinois Basin, Central Appalachia, and Northern Appalachia. Although single-mode shipping is more common, individual coal shipments can be transported by more than one mode. Coal shipments to the electric power sector in 2018 were 7% lower than the previous year. Of all modes, shipments to minemouth plants or power plants built close to coal mines declined more substantially than other transport modes, falling by 15% in 2018. Rail shipments decreased 6%.

During the same period, coal shipped by waterways fell 9%, and coal transported by truck decreased 6%.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Tue, 17 Sep 2019
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