Transforming to FutureCoal: The Global Alliance for Sustainable Coal
After 38 years the World Coal Association (WCA) will cease and usher in a new era under the transformative branding: FutureCoal The Global Alliance for Sustainable Coal.
Unveiling the new brand logo and identity at a dedicated press conference in Delhi, FutureCoal Chief Executive, Michelle Manook, said the change responded to a call from coal and coal allied sectors to modernise, and unite under a common purpose.
The FutureCoal organisation will now open its doors representing major and strategic players across the entire coal value chain. The organisation advocates for an inclusive all fuels and all technologies international policy framework to support the sovereign rights of all coal producing and consuming nations and those nations and stakeholders which genuinely seek to support them.
For too long our global coal value chain has allowed anti-coal sentiment to dominate and fragment us, which has resulted in a lowering of the global coal IQ. This has diminished the capacity and progress of many vulnerable developing and emerging nations, but also now we see, those of some developed nations.
FutureCoal may seem bold to some but for many it is simply representative of the reality we are confronted with. The total contribution of coal to our modern society and the growing global population should neither be dismissed nor disregarded. Coal and more specifically, a wider definition of abated coal solutions exists and will be needed in any energy transition. This critical resource is a legitimate participant in both economic development and emissions abatement, she said.
The FutureCoal Global Alliance will embed this transformation through Sustainable Coal Stewardship (SCS). The SCS platform allows coal-based economies like India and China and like-minded nations, and corporations to form collaborations to advance a progressive and technology and solutions led international coal value chain industry.
Ms Manook added that The total contribution made by the coal value chain in sectors including power, steel, cement, aluminium, chemicals, and renewables infrastructure is in the order of hundreds of billions and is an interconnected global supply chain. This cannot be ignored but equally it can only be secured by our value chain acknowledging that change must occur. If we are to be responsible, then we need to be inclusive, and unite under our common purpose.
We know that we must emerge and demonstrate a modernised, innovative and technology led UNITED coal value chain, focused on continuing to make a substantial future contribution to peoples lives and livelihoods.
Many coal producing and consuming nations, governments, industry and investors have signalled their intent to be officially associated with and join the FutureCoal global organisation.
FutureCoal Chairman July Ndlovu said, You have asked, and we have responded. The platform for collaboration, in the best interests of our global community, now exists – in FutureCoal. The leaders of this new legacy understand that this is our responsibility to the future. That this future is before us. And that this future is now.
(1) What is FutureCoal?
The FutureCoal Global Alliance is the worlds only multi-lateral, neutral and progressive organisation representing the entire coal value chain which is dedicated to raising awareness on the significant total contribution of coal.
The Global Alliance educates on the critical resource coal and its immense and continued involvement in bettering the lives and livelihoods of our global community. The Alliance recognises that as an integrated coal value chain, we must serve to support both economic and environmental national and international ambitions.
It opens up new avenues of collaboration and unites all coal and coal allied sector stakeholders representing thermal, metallurgical, renewable supply chains and coal innovation sectors with corporate members and national industry partners based in major coal economies and markets including Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Russia, United States, and Zimbabwe.
It believes that coal, when used responsibly and sustainably, can contribute significantly to both economic growth and environmental sustainability.
FutureCoal is underpinned by Sustainable Coal Stewardship.
(2) What is Sustainable Coal Stewardship?
Sustainable Coal Stewardship (SCS) provides a pathway which supports extracting more value per tonne of coal. Value is determined and measured in both economic and environmental benefits.
SCS describes an intent, approach and a broader definition of the abatement opportunities that the coal value chain has to modernise and transform their coal and allied businesses to meet and advance the needs of our global society.
SCS does not prescribe what abatement opportunities should be adopted by any nation or company. Rather it supports the right to choose and establishment of a coal ecosystem which includes options of efficiency, process improvements, health and safety, emissions reduction including carbon abatement, waste management and recycling, land rehabilitation, technology advancement and innovation.
Specifically, SCS comprises three components:
Pre- combustion describes the abatement opportunities available to the upstream sector in the coal value chain. These include, but are not limited to, the adoption of efficient and innovative mining processes, practices and equipment including electrification, intelligent platforms, digitalisation, waste management, recycling, dust and water management, management of surface subsidence, land disturbance and rehabilitation, methane management, renewable power, efficient coal processing, washing and beneficiation practices.
Combustion describes the range of efficiency technologies which when combined support power and heat utilities to abate and capture up to 99% of emissions.
These include high-efficiency and low emissions (HELE) plants such as Ultra Super Critical (USC), Combined Heat and Power (CHP), electricity production from coal gasification (Integrated Gasification in Combined Cycle (IGCC), and co-firing coal with biomass.
These technologies can also be combined with emission mitigation technologies such as lowering SOx emissions through Flue Gas Desulphurisation (FGD), particulate matter control (through Electrostatic precipitators or ESP and bag or ESP and bag filters), low NOx systems, and carbon capture storage and utilisation and storage (CCS/CCUS).
These technologies also have broader industrial applications including steel and cement production and processing where cleaner technologies, reuse and recycling of by-products from the emission capture technologies also play an essential role, such as the reuse of CO2 for chemicals production and enhanced oil recovery.
3. Beyond Combustion
Beyond Combustion encapsulates a vision where future business opportunities expand further to transforming coal into new higher value products, such as Coal-to-Liquids (CTL), creating synthetic liquid hydrocarbons, hydrogen, methanol, and agri-chemicals most of which are being produced today. Coal and coal waste acting as a secondary resource for cementitious materials, including fly ash from power stations and slag from ironmaking blast furnaces which are valuable to the construction sector to replace cement. Critical minerals, essential for our digitised and electrified future, such as rare earth metals, which can be harvested from coal waste. Coal and waste recycling from the value chain which drives a responsible and transformative change in society, providing a source of advanced materials such as graphene and carbon fibre, while also meeting the most basic needs such as water filtration in developing regions suffering water scarcity. At the heart of Beyond Combustion is technology and innovation to provide solutions for a growing urbanised and modernised global society.
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FutureCoal Global Alliance
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