Awaits government nod for plan to develop mines in a strategic partnership with North American Coal Corporation.

Coal miners are still working in the German town of Bottrop, but the government has decided to end mining in the country by 2018 because German coal is the most expensive in the world.

An inter-ministerial group (IMG) has cleared the $8-billion (Rs 32,000 crore) CTL project of the Tata group and its partner Sasol of South Africa, the world's largest producer of oil from coal.

India's first coal-to-liquid (CTL) project rolls off.

South Asia being an energy-deficit region, there is a strong case for developing regional cooperation in this sector. This may take different forms. India has surplus petroleum refining capacity while other countries in the region are importers of petroleum products. The real benefits will accrue from cooperation in power generation.

Amid a challenging economic outlook

Proper energy planning is essential for achieving energy security. Every country has to formulate its own policy to optimize the use of different energy sources for meeting the demands of its household, agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors. This necessitates an integrated and updated database of the production and consumption of different energy sources viz., coal, crude, petroleum, natural gas and electricity (hydro and nuclear). The present issue, "Energy Statistics 2007', is the 15th issue in the series.

Chinese domestic coking coal prices are expected to rise $14 per tonne next month, which could trigger problems for the Indian steel industry whose demand for coke is expected to touch 85.34 million metric tons by 2011-12. "Chinese domestic coking coal prices are expected to rise by 100 yuan ($14) per tonne for March delivery, pushed up by strong demand for coke,' the Metal Bulletin reported. Coal producers in China are talking about raising prices next month in the face of strong demand as steel mills gradually ramp up production after the snowstorms, it quoted Chinese trading sources as saying. Currently, coking coal is transacting at 1,300-1,400 yuan per tonne in Shanxi province, China's largest coal and coke producer. This is double the price paid in the middle of last year. Indian Steel Alliance sources said that rise in Chinese coking coal prices could generate problems for the Indian steel industry as domestic firms are considerably dependent on the neighbouring country for coke. Recent force majeure announcements by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto at several hard coking coal mines in Queensland, Australia, have also seriously affected many Asian steel mills and caused a global shortage of coking coal supply.

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