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Utility Coal Procurement

AUTHOR: Darrell Porter and Johannes Schmitz
DATE: August 1995

The latest in the series of Perspective reports from IEA Coal Research reviews key issues for utility coal procurement.

Power stations represent the main market for coal in most countries. Coal producers who supply both home country and overseas markets are increasingly dependent on the utility power market for their sales. The strategies pursued by electricity utilities in purchasing their fuel requirements are thus of considerable importance to most coal producers and exporters. For utilities, achieving the right balance between security of supply and lowest cost coal supply is crucial.

The report begins with a brief analysis of the background to utility coal procurement, describing the developments which will drive, and constrain, coal procurement practices and strategies in the utility power industry worldwide. The main body of the report then describes in detail the very different power markets - and coal procurement strategies - occurring in the United States and Japan. A shorter treatment of developments in the heterogeneous and rapidly developing European market concludes the study.