South African Coal Industry
Coal is the most common and longest used fossil energy fuel. Coal, oil and natural gas will still exist when depleted, and coal prices are stable compared to other energy sources. Coal is a safe and reliable product because of its ease of transportation, ease of storage and long life. It is also easy to process and deliver coal to users. With such properties, coal is an indispensable source of energy.
World oil reserves will run out in 40 years, according to estimates. Natural gas reserves will be exhausted after 60 years. Estimates for coal reserves are around 200 years. It has been the fastest-growing energy source worldwide in the 21st century and also it will be the long-term efficient energy product in the near future.
Coal is a fossil fuel. Its main components are; carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Steam coal is also known as thermal coal. It’s mostly used in electricity generation.
Thermal Coal products in South Africa
South Africa is the 6th biggest coal exporter country with 6,23 billion USD export value. 1/4 of South African coal is exported to energy providers and metallurgical plants in mostly Europe, South America, and India.
Coal is highly used as energy source in South Africa, almost 90% of South Africa electricity being obtained from coal-fired power stations.
Supporters of environmentalist products compare wind and solar power and electricity generation capacity and storage issues with the cost of natural gas production and the security risks posed by nuclear power plants. The result is clear, coal will remain an economic and reliable source of energy for the next 50 years.
It is no coincidence that South African coal is used in the energy sector and especially in electricity generation. South Africa's RB1 and RB3 type coals offer high-calorific value and high energy efficiency. Other features that make South African coal advantageous are its ability to burn easily and fast, soft and brittle.
Analysing and specification of Coal
The type and basic properties of coal are determined by the properties measured in 8 main titles. Such as: "gross calorific value", "total moisture", "volatile matter", ash, "total sulphur" and so on.
The specification for thermal coal is defined in terms of its typical quality. Coal trading companies request additional analyses and test records on milling, ash composition, and ash fusion temperatures as a standard procedure.
SOUTH AFRICAN COAL SPECIFICATIONS - RB1, RB3, RB4/4800