Global News

International Outlook


The National Key Research and Development Plan “Ultra-supercritical Circulating Fluidized Bed Boiler Technology Research and Development and Demonstration Project” started in Beijing in October. The four-and-a-half-year project is led by Shenhua Group, with 16 organizations in China participating in research and development. This project will research improvements for 660-MW ultra-supercritical circulating fluidized bed boilers and furnaces. The aim of the project is to promote large-scale clean combustion of China’s low-grade coals.

United Arab Emirates

In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), construction has begun on the US$1.8 billion Hassyan clean coal plant. The first phase of the project will be the construction of 1.2 GW. The first 600-MW unit is expected to be operational in 2020, with the second 600-MW unit coming online a year later. By 2023 a total of 2.4 GW will be generating electricity. The Dubai Electricity and Water Authority plant will provide a 12.5% boost to Dubai’s current grid capacity on completion. The aim is that 7% of electricity in Dubai will be generated by coal by 2030.


The election of Donald Trump as President and the Republican majorities in Congress have the potential to change the energy regulatory landscape in the U.S. As a candidate, Trump indicated his administration would not implement the Clean Power Plan advanced by the Obama administration. Specific changes in policy remain to be seen as Trump assembles his leadership team.

The opening ceremony for NICE America Research Inc. was held in Mountain View, California, in October. Dignitaries from the Shenhua Group, Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in San Francisco, U.S. Department of Energy, NICE headquarters, and the local government were in attendance. Dr. Yuzhuo Zhang, Chairman of Shenhua Group, addressed the audience, articulating his vision for the center and his excitement for the opening of NICE’s first international facility. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, NICE signed memoranda of understanding with General Electric and Air Products to explore collaboration on fuel cells and hydrogen fueling, respectively.

NICE America Research Inc. will be the U.S. headquarters of the National Institute of Clean and Low-Carbon Energy (NICE), a R&D institute funded and administered by the Shenhua Group. The new research facility is tasked with developing and commercializing technology on shale gas conversion to value-added chemicals, carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration (CCUS), energy internet, and hydrogen energy. In addition, the new facility allows NICE to partner with leading U.S. academic/research institutions and enterprises to accelerate its clean energy development strategy.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for NICE America Research Inc.


In a recent article in the Indian newspaper The Hindu, the World Coal Association’s Chief Executive, Benjamin Sporton, highlighted that the World Bank and other global development lenders such as the Asian Development Bank are not financing clean coal projects. He pointed out that not investing in supercritical and ultra-supercritical plants is resulting in countries building less efficient subcritical plants with much higher CO2 and particulate matter emissions. He also noted that, without financial support from international global lenders, India and other developing countries would be unable to meet their Paris Agreement targets. Mr. Sporton stated: “India’s Paris commitment includes building more supercritical and USC plants and the international banks must help them do that. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions submitted by 19 countries—India included—said they were going to use coal.”

On 29 November 2016, the ASEAN Centre for Energy (ACE)—an independent intergovernmental organization within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) structure that represents the 10 ASEAN Member States’ (AMS) interests in the energy sector—held a webinar titled “Coal in ASEAN After the Paris Agreement”. A blend of regional and international perspectives was shared by the panelists from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Indonesia, Chulalongkorn University on behalf of Ministry of Energy of Thailand, the World Coal Association, and Global CCS Institute. The ASEAN region is one of the fastest growing economic regions in the world. The ASEAN region will continue to depend on fossil fuels, with coal as the main energy source to meet the increasing electricity demand, due to its high availability and low costs. A key message from the webinar was that there is a need for international community support to implement high-efficiency, low-emissions (HELE) and CCS technologies in ASEAN, so the region can contribute to the Paris Agreement while meeting the needs of its economic growth. The recording video, presentations, and related materials from the webinar can be accessed at

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 (2017) Location Website
2017 12th Mercury Emissions and Coal Workshop and Conference
28 Feb–3 Mar
Mpumalanga, South Africa
15th Coaltrans China
10-11 April
Shanghai, China
CO2 Summit III: Pathways to Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Deployment
22–26 May
Calabria, Italy
2017 8th International Conference on Clean Coal Technologies
8–12 May
Cagliari, Italy
The 13th China (Beijing) International Coal Equipment and Mining Technical Equipment Exhibition
13–15 June
Beijing, China

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

Recent Select Publications

20 Years of Carbon Capture and Storage – Accelerating Future Deployment — International Energy Agency — This report reviews progress with CCS technologies over the past 20 years and examines their role in achieving 2°C and well-below 2°C targets. Based on the International Energy Agency’s 2°C scenario, it also considers the implications for climate change if CCS was not a part of the response. And it examines opportunities to accelerate future deployment of CCS to meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement. The full report is available at


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