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How Long Will Coal Last?

The largest coal reserves are located in the US, Russia, China, India, Australia, Germany, South Africa and Ukraine. With energy security and oil price volatility high on the agenda and coal being the lowest cost source of energy, there is an ongoing need for coal even when considering the problems CO2 and other gas emissions.

Source: IEA, Bloomberg and Maritime Report

In 2010 the world coal production was 6.8 billion tonnes, of which 70% was bituminous coal, and the remainder sub-bituminous. At todays rate of consumption the world has a 100 year supply of bituminous coal, a 457 year supply of sub-bituminous coal and a 171 year supply of lignite. In short we have ample low rank coal, but we are depleting our high rank reserves at a much faster rate.

China is currently the world’s largest importer of coal (150 million tonnes/year) with Japan following close behind (110 million tonnes). Overall, the EIA expects world coal consumption to increase by 56% by 2035 accounting for 28% of total worldwide energy consumption.

As bituminous coal reserves are reduced and become more expensive to recover, RBE's upgrading technology opens up the possibility to use lower cost, and less polluting, sub-bituminous and lignite coals as a substitute.