Global News

International Outlook


The Queensland government has approved mining leases for the $21.7 billion Carmichael coal mine and rail project in the Galilee Basin. The Carmichael project will be Australia’s largest coal mine with associated infrastructure links to a new export terminal at Abbot Point.


The annual installed coal capacity in 2015 was 55 GW. Companies in China are carrying out retrofits to achieve ultra-low emissions at existing coal-fired power plants. An example is the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region where 22 sets of ultra-low emission units with a total installed capacity of 9.784 GW were renovated.


Russia and China are expected to sign a contract to build the Erkovetskaya thermal power station. According to the Russian Energy Ministry, the 8000-MW thermal power station will be Russia’s largest coal-fired power station upon completion. The capacity of the Erkovetskaya power station is equivalent to the total amount of all thermal power in the Far East (9000 MW). The average annual throughput will reach 30–50 million MWh.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced the selection of 14 research and development projects to advance energy systems that will enable cost-competitive, fossil-fuel-based power generation with near-zero emissions. The investment of $28 million is aimed at new projects to accelerate the scale-up of coal-based advanced combustion power systems, to advance coal gasification processes, and to improve the cost, reliability, and endurance of solid oxide fuel cells.


The Paris Agreement has been signed by 180 countries. For the Paris Agreement to enter into force, 55 parties to the UNFCCC Convention, accounting for 55% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, must ratify the agreement. In total, 23 countries have currently ratified the agreement, covering 1.08% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Movers & Shakers

Paul Flynn, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Whitehaven Energy, and Jianjun Gao, President of China Coal Energy Co Ltd, have been appointed to the World Coal Association Executive Committee.

Recent Select Publications

World Energy Outlook Special Report 2016: Energy and Air Pollution> — International Energy Agency (IEA) — In June the IEA launched its Special Report on Energy and Air Pollution. The report notes that around 6.5 million people die each year as a result of air pollution. The IEA proposes a pragmatic, tailored solution: A Clean Air Scenario (CAS). The report identifies three key areas for government action, including long-term air quality goals, a package of clean air policies for the energy sector, and effective monitoring, enforcement, evaluation, and communication. The full report can be downloaded free of charge from

The Potential for Equipping China’s Existing Coal Fleet With Carbon Capture and Storage — International Energy Agency (IEA) — The report, part of IEA’s Insight Series 2016, identifies 310 GW of existing coal-fired power capacity that could be retrofitted. Further information about the criteria used to identify the potential plants, including costs, are in the report, which can be accessed for free from

The Role of Coal for Energy Security in World Regions — IEA Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB) — The CIAB has published a report based on its study of the role coal plays globally in several important world regions: the EU-28, the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, China, India, and South Africa. The report found that applying of high-efficiency, low emission (HELE) technologies provide significant CO2 emission reductions. A further key finding is that coal provides energy security and plays an important role in balancing the relatively unpredictable feed-in of wind and solar energy. The whole report (including all country chapters) can be accessed from

Key Meetings & Conferences

Globally there are numerous conferences and meetings geared toward the coal and energy industries. The table below highlights a few such events. If you would like your event listed in Cornerstone, please contact the Executive Editor at

Conference Name Dates (2016) Location Website
23rd World Energy Congress
9-13 Oct
Istanbul, Turkey
The World Coal Leaders NetworkTM
16–18 Oct
Lisbon, Portugal
IEA Clean Coal Centre 1st Coal Quality Workshop
9–10 Nov
New Delhi, India
IEA GHG R&D Programme 13th Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies Conference
14–18 Nov
Lausanne, Switzerland
2016 China International Energy Forum & Exhibition
28–30 Nov
Beijing, China

There are several Coaltrans conferences globally each year. To learn more, visit


The content in Cornerstone does not necessarily reflect the views of the World Coal Association or its members.
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