Australia may block coal exports to ease its energy crisis International,  Thermal Coal 2022-06-20 12:01:55

Australia may ban coal exports if necessary to ease the country's looming blackouts, according to a Financial Times report on June 17.

The government of New South Wales asked coal miners operating in the state to redirect coal heading overseas to local generators.

Australia is facing potential power blackouts across the county as rising coal and gas prices and coal-fired power unit maintenance put the country under the cloud of power supply shortage. The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) suspended the wholesale market to ensure reliable electricity supply last week.

The energy minister has urged households in New South Wales to conserve electricity in the face of an energy crisis, saying people should not use electricity for two hours every evening if they have a choice.

Australia, one of the world's largest exporters of coal and liquefied natural gas, has been surprisingly struggling with an electricity crisis since last month.

Coal still accounts for more than 65% of the country's power mix, for which Australia has long been accused of not doing enough to reduce emissions.

The new administration in Australia on June 16 raised the emissions reduction goal by cutting 43% by 2030 from the 2005 level, higher than the previous target of 26-28%.

The power shortage that Australia is in the middle of is decreasing, as several decommissioned coal plants restarted.

"AEMO can confirm sufficient electricity supply available to meet demand forecasts across the National Electric Market," the AEMO said.

Flooding earlier this year hit some coal mines in New South Wales and Queensland, while technical issues have cut production at two mines that supply the market's biggest coal-fired station in New South Wales.

While AEMO has not given a timeline on when the suspension would be lifted, a cumulative 19 GW of coal-fired power capacity had been reloaded since June 15.

(Writing by Alex Guo  Editing by Tammy Yang)
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