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Tuesday, 22 December 20
AFRICA PERSPECTIVE INDICATES NO MAJOR SHIFTS FOR COAL CONSUMPTION - IEA
IEAOverall countries on the African continent consumed 197 Mt of coal in 2019, 12 Mt less (-6%) than 2018.
 
South Africa, the continent’s primary coal consumer, accounted for most of this decline. While coal consumption for power generation in South Africa decreased 2.7%, non-power thermal coal consumption dropped by 11%. Sasol Limited used 2.5 Mt less coal to produce synfuel and a variety of chemicals. The distressed state of the construction sector and reduced spending on infrastructure also resulted in lower coal consumption by cement and brick producers in South Africa.
 
The decline in South Africa’s coal consumption is expected to continue throughout 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and load-shedding due to poor coal plant performance. Demand will not recover by 2025 and is expected to remain below 200 Mt, in spite of the second unit (800 MW) of the 4 800 MW Kusile power plant having started commercial operations in October 2020 (other units will come online later). South Africa’s GDP is expected to contract severely (by 8%) in 2020 and to recover only mildly (by around 3%) in 2021. Consequently, South Africa’s power generation (especially coal-fired) and non-power coal consumption are expected to remain subdued through 2021.
 
In addition, Eskom, South Africa’s largest utility, remains in a difficult financial and operational situation while South Africa has recently suffered frequent power cuts, as its two massive coal-fired power plants – Medupi power station at Limpopo (4.8 GW) and the Kusile power plant at Mpumalanga (4.8 GW) – are still having technical complications.
 
After a surge of around 35% in 2019 with introduction of the new 1.4 GW Safi power station, Morocco’s coal consumption is expected to remain at 9 Mt per year in 2020 and 2021. In 2020, Morocco’s National Office for Electricity and Drinking Water extended its power purchase agreement for the 2 GW Jorf Lasfar power plant, which provides 40% of Morocco’s electricity generation. No other projects are currently under development, as Nador coal power project has not reported further progress.
 
In Egypt, the Ministry of Electricity and Renewables cancelled plans for construction of the Hamrawein plant, thereby prospects for increased imports have vanished. Cement kilns and steel production will get back to 2019 consumption levels once recovered from the big drop in 2020.
 
Some other coal-fired generation projects, such as the 300 MW KP1 plant in Botswana and the 300 MW Mbeya plant in Tanzania are proceeding after minor reorganisations and licence updates. In Zimbabwe, 8 GW of coal power generation capacity in different projects have been announced, but there is no clarity about how they can progress.
Source: COAL 2020, IEA


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