Thursday, 7 October 2010

U.K. Coal Imports Tumble to 11-Year Low as Power Generators Use More Gas

U.K. coal imports declined to the lowest level since 1999 in the second
quarter as power generators used up stockpiles. Natural gas shipments rose
as local supply fell and electricity generators favored the fuel. U.K. second-quarter coal imports declined 45 percent from a year earlier to
5.3 million metric tons, the Department of Energy and Climate Change said
today in a quarterly report. Coal stockpiles were at 20.2 million tons at
the end of June, 0.8 million tons lower than last year, the DECC said. About 80 percent of Britain's power stations are fed with fossil fuels and
some utilities can switch feedstock depending on prices. Lower natural gas
prices, relative to coal costs, raise the profitability from gas-fed
stations. U.K. second-quarter natural
commercial gas imports increased 54 percent to 128.2 terawatt-hours while
exports advanced 28 percent to 58 terawatt-hours, the DECC said. Liquefied
natural gas accounted for about a third of total imports, according to the
department. Demand for the fuel rose 9.6 percent from a year earlier to
219.5 terawatt-hours.

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