President Donald Trump has welcomed the resurgence of the US coal industry this year.
There is high demand for coal in the US power generation sector, especially for that found in Wyoming, which has large open pit mines with low production costs.
This comes as Clean Coal Technologies Inc. (CCTI) look establish a test plant in Wyoming for the coal refining process it has been working on for over a decade.
The high demand for coal from sources including the Powder River Basin is helping to fuel the revival of the US coal industry which is focused on controlling debts and paying returns on investment to shareholders.
US listed mining groups Peabody Energy and Arch Coal have been boosted by these trends, after both have managed to reemerge from bankruptcy following the challenges the industry faced in 2015-16.
However, this focus on the Powder River Basin is a bad sign for companies operating in Appalachian region, including the states West Virginia and Kentucky, which have witnessed a 20% fall in coal consumption from 2016. Trump has promised to help the region and the coal industry as a whole to grow as the country moves from an energy importer to an energy exporter.
The comeback of the US coal industry follows the Department of Energy’s proposed new regulations that encourage “reliability and resiliency” in power pricing, which will reward electricity producers that can maintain 90 days’ worth of supplies. The coal industry is likely to be a significant beneficiary of these regulations if they are put into place.
The US is also promoting the use of coal in developing countries, such as Thailand, to help their economies grow with the use of reliable energy.