Domestic utilization of high sulfur coals : Trends and prospects

Bhagwat, S.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
Coals capable of emitting 2 lbs SO2/106 Btu heat input must be defined as high sulfur coals. This is because electric utility plants built after 1971 may not emit more than 1.2 lbs SO2, and those built before 1971, and regulated under the State Implementation Plans (SIP), may exceed the 2 lbs S0 limit only under closely defined restrictions concerning ambient air quality and prevention of air quality deterioration. Coals produced in Kentucky, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana account for 77% of SO2 pollution potential and are, therefore, the subject of this investigation. These coals have suffered market share losses in the 10 years from 1974 through 1984. This is due to their sulfur content as well as their lack of price competitiveness with low sulfur western and imported coals. Kentucky and West Virginia have been able to increase their compliance quality coal production substantially, but other states have largely been unable to do so because of nonavailability of low sulfur coal deposits. Assuming that the current relative productivity and cost competitiveness of coal producing states will not change significantly by 1994, this paper makes two projections of coal production in the selected states. In scenario I, the current clean air regulations are assumed to apply until 1994, and coal production in the selected states is projected to in¬crease by about 6% in 1994 compared to 1984. In scenario II, it is assumed that acid rain legislation will be implemented, which will adversely affect the markets for high sulfur coals. Coal production in the selected states under this scenario is projected to decline about 10% between 1984 and 1994, jeopardizing up to 13,000 mining jobs. The author concludes that better coal quality and greater cost competitiveness are both essential to stem the market losses and to regain strength.
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