Coal in Africa: An opportunity is available to invest in a coal mine in West Virginia. The mine’s value is less than in past years because of actual and anticipated restrictions on coal-fired power generation in the United States. However, the mine has a chance to sell its coal on contract to a public utility in West Africa. The utility is working through the World Bank for financing to build a number of coal-fired power plants. If they obtain World Bank financing, then a customer for the coal mine is assured, at least for the duration of the contracts. The power plants will employ the best current technology for burning coal, which exceeds all current air quality standards for the region. However, the power plants will not be designed to attempt carbon capture. The area of Africa the plants will serve suffers from extreme energy poverty, with some of the lowest per capita energy consumption in the world.
Overview of the Region
West Africa is the westernmost region …
Proved reserves of coal are generally taken to be those quantities that geological and engineering information indicates with reasonable certainly can be recovered in the future from known deposits under existing economic and operating conditions.
If we look at supply and demand factors in the decline, we can see that:
a) Coal price has grown significantly in the decade ending 20121:
Figure 2. Prices in US Dollars per tonne.
b) Coal consumption has also grown significantly worldwide2:
Figure 3. Coal consumption by region.
c) The price of substitutes (i.e. Natural Gas) has also grown. Not so in North America though, but if we look at the world trend it is growing3:
Figure 4. Natural gas prices.
Therefore if the rule of supply and demand worked we would see increase in proved reserves for coal, because increase in dem…