World Import ban for Russian coal: No bottlenecks await

11:50  10 august  2022
11:50  10 august  2022 Source:   tagesspiegel.de

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The German carbon importers do not expect delivery bottlenecks despite the import ban for Russian hard coal applicable from Thursday. "Coal is available on the world market," said CEO Alexander Bethe from the association of carbon importers (VDKI) of the German Press Agency dpa. The main delivery countries are now the USA, South Africa, Australia, Indonesia and Colombia.

Die EU-Staaten dürfen von diesem Donnerstag an keine Kohle mehr aus Russland importieren. © Bernd Wüstneck/DPA central picture/dpa The EU countries may no longer import coal from Russia from this Thursday. According to the association,

2021 still came from Russia, a good 17 percent from the USA and more than 13 percent from Australia. That was almost 20.5 million tons from Russia. According to VDKI, around 7.2 million tons of hard coal came to Germany from January to May. Recent numbers are not yet available. The Russian coal was mainly used as fuel for power plants.

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sanctions were decided in April

The EU countries may no longer import coal from Russia from this Thursday. At midnight, the transition period for the coal embargo against Russia ends, which the EU countries decided as part of the fifth sanction package in April. At the time, so that the industry could adjust to the import ban, the countries agreed on a transition period of 120 days.

The aim of import stop is to further weaken the Russian economy against the background of the war in Ukraine. According to the EU Commission in April, the Kohleembargo could mean a minus of around eight billion euros per year for Russia.

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"The switch to alternative coals has so far been relatively easy," said VDKI CEO Bethe. Some power plants are still in the test operation in terms of the new composition of the coal fuel mix. They would be changed in September.

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Bethe: need longer planning horizon

When exactly the last Russian coal came to Europe, he did not know. "The typical behavior on the market was the case that the Russian suppliers were told that you can deliver until July." Essentially, the coal came across the so-called ARA ports: Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Antwerp. In Germany, Russian coal was imported via Hamburg, Rostock and Wilhelmshaven.

Even without Russian coal, Bethe expects a "considerable increase in quantity to the monthly import quantities" from September. The reason is primarily the temporary restoration of hard coal power plants, which were previously in the network reserve. As a result, the head of the association fears a lack of cover capacity in the seaports as well as too little transportation on inland ships and in freight trains. "Politics is asked to open a longer planning horizon to the coal branches than just the" emergency nail perspective "of this winter. This is the only way to make logistics, »he said.

For the first time, the EU sanctioned energy deliveries from Russia with the coal embargo. In a later sanction package, the EU countries also agreed to largely prohibit Russian oil deliveries in order to further increase the pressure on Moscow. However, this should only apply from the end of the year, with exceptions for some particularly dependent countries such as Hungary.

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