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Japan Is The World’s Third-Largest Coal Importing Country - EIA

Coal News - Published on Tue, 18 Jun 2019

Image Source: EIA
EIA announced that Japan imported more than 210 million short tonnes of coal in 2018, making it the world’s third-largest coal-importing country after only India and China. Japan continues to use steam coal to fuel one-third of its electricity generation and metallurgical coal for raw steel production. Japan imports nearly all 99% of the coal it consumes. Australia is Japan’s primary coal supplier, supplying 128 million short tonnes, or 61%, of Japan’s demand in 2018. Indonesia 32 million short tonnes, Russia 21 million short tonnes, the United States 13 million short tonnes and Canada 9.6 million short tonnes accounted for another 35% of total coal imports. US thermal coal exports to Japan increased by 20% in 2018, and 2019 exports as of March are already 38% higher than in all of 2018.

Coal accounts for about one-third of Japan’s electricity generation. In 2018, Japan’s utilities produced an estimated 317 billion kilowatthours of electricity at more than 90 coal-fired power plants. Coal’s share of electricity generation in Japan was higher in 2018 than it was before the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident. In 2010, coal accounted for 25% of Japan’s electricity generation, and nuclear generation accounted for 29%.

Before 2011, Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry had planned to reduce coal’s generation share by more than half by 2030, intending for nuclear power to offset coal plant retirements. The plan included increasing the nuclear generation share in Japan’s electricity mix to 50% by 2030. However, as a result of the Fukushima accident and subsequent suspension of Japan’s nuclear fleet, METI now projects a future energy mix of 20% to 22% nuclear, 22% to 24% renewables, 26% coal, and 27% natural gas through 2030.

Japan’s utilities plan to construct 20 gigawatts of coal-fired electric power generation capacity in the next decade. The scope of development will depend on how many suspended nuclear reactors resume operation. Increased competition in Japan’s electricity market may also have an effect as new non-coal entrants compete for market share.

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Posted By : Sanju Moirangthem on Tue, 18 Jun 2019
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