Thermal Coal Market: Overview
Demand for electricity has been rising significantly across the globe due to the increase in population. Electricity not only powers buildings and houses, but also provides essential heating for industrial and residential purposes. It also powers various industrial equipment and machineries along with household and office equipment. Electricity also plays an important role in mitigating poverty. It is produced from several sources such as coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and renewables. Popularity of renewables has been increasing due to their environment friendliness and almost zero carbon emission. However, coal holds the dominant position (37% share) in global electricity generation according to the World Coal Association. Thermal coal, also known as steam coal, is the major type of coal employed in the production of electricity.
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In pulverized coal combustion (PCC) systems, thermal coal is first reduced to a fine powder through a miller or a pulverizer. This not only increases its surface area but also enables it to burn quickly. The powdered coal is then fed into the boiler’s combustion chamber, where it is combusted at high temperatures. The heat energy produced from burning of coal converts water in the boiler to steam. This high-pressure steam is blown into a turbine, where the steam pushes and turns the turbine blades. These blades, in turn, rotate the turbine shaft which drives the generator mounted at the other end of the shaft. The mounted generator comprises of wire coils and magnets, which produce electricity when the wire coils are rotated in the presence of magnetic field. The steam, after leaving the turbine, is condensed and again fed into the boiler, continuing the same cycle. However, electricity produced from the generator is stepped-up to higher voltages for transmission and distribution to end-users of electricity.
Thermal Coal Market: Key Segments
Based on application, the thermal coal market can be classified into power generation, cement production, and others. The power generation segment accounts for significant share of the global thermal coal market. It is likely to maintain its dominant position during the forecast period primarily due to the high energy content of coal. Thermal coal is also employed in the calcination process of limestone for producing cement, which is mainly used in the construction industry. The others application segment includes institutions that utilize thermal coal for heat generation either for timber drying or other such processes.
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Thermal Coal Market: Regional Outlook
In terms of region, the global thermal coal market can be segregated into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Asia Pacific is estimated to dominate the global thermal coal market during the forecast period owing to the presence of a large number of thermal power plants in the region, especially in developing countries such as China and India, where coal is an important part of energy mix. The global thermal coal market in the region is likely to expand at a considerable pace during the forecast period, primarily owing to the increase in demand for power and rise in construction activities in the region. This, in turn, is projected to boost the demand for cement, especially in developing countries such as India and China.
Thermal Coal Market: Key Players
Key players operating in the global thermal coal market include Coal India Limited, China Shenhua Energy Company Limited, China Coal Energy Company Limited, Peabody Energy, Inc., Adani Group, Alliance Resource Partners, L.P., and Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited.
This post was originally published on Analytics News