Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey talks up his country’s potential to be the “world’s number one energy exporter” within the decade but China’s ban on the sale and import of coal with high ash or sulfur content may impact forecast returns.
The Chinese Government’s crackdown is in response to the heavy pollution in Shanghai and Beijing and social unrest in many industrialised cities,
From January 1, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) says a ban will be imposed on coal with ash content of more than 40 per cent and sulfur of more than 3 per cent from being sold or imported into China. Lignite containing ash of more than 30 per cent and sulfur of more than 1.5 per cent is also prohibited.
Coal accounts for almost two-thirds of the country’s energy mix.
According to Hockey, Australia’s got “at least 400 years” of coal reserves.