Energy is important contributor to economic growth and household incomes as well it adds to improved quality of life that comes with better education and health services. All sources of energy will be needed to meet future energy demand, including coal.
Coal has many important uses worldwide. The most significant uses are in electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing and as a liquid fuel. Around 6.1 billion tonnes of hard coal were used worldwide last year and 1 billion tonnes of brown coal. Since 2000, global coal consumption has grown faster than any other fuel. The five largest coal users - China, USA, India, Russia and Japan - account for 77% of total global coal use.
Different types of coal have different uses. Steam coal - also known as thermal coal - is mainly used in power generation. Coking coal - also known as metallurgical coal - is mainly used in steel production.
NAMEXIM supply coal to alumina refineries, paper manufacturers, and the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Several chemical products can be produced from the by-products of coal. Refined coal tar is used in the manufacture of chemicals, such as creosote oil, naphthalene, phenol, and benzene. Ammonia gas recovered from coke ovens is used to manufacture ammonia salts, nitric acid and agricultural fertilisers. Thousands of different products have coal or coal by-products as components: soap, aspirins, solvents, dyes, plastics and fibres, such as rayon and nylon. Coal is also an essential ingredient in the production of specialist products.