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Home BUSINESSConsumption of hard coal at lowest level in 3 decades
Fri, 29 Jan, 2016 12:02:01 AM
FTimes Report, Jan 29
Consumption of hard coal, 1,000 tonnes. Source: Consumption of hard coal, Statistics Finland.
The consumption of hard coal decreased by 26 per cent in 2015 in comparison with the year before, according to Statistics Finland's preliminary data.
The consumption of hard coal has last been at this low level in the early 1980s. Compared to the average for the 2000s, the consumption of hard coal was 45 per cent lower.
The consumption of hard coal as a fuel in the generation of electricity and heat amounted to 2.6 million tonnes, corresponding to 66 petajoules in energy content, the statistics show.
The consumption of hard coal dropped most in plants of separate production of electricity. The profitability of hard coal was weakened by the distinct decline in the wholesale price of electricity in the Nordic electricity exchange, for which reason domestic separate production of electricity was replaced with imports of electricity.
The good availability of hydro power and increased production of wind power replaced production modes with more expensive production costs from the electricity markets, particularly coal condensing.
In the summer, two coal condensing plants were transferred into long-term preservation due to profitability problems. In turn, the warm weather decreased the demand for hard coal in combined heat and power production as well.
Hard coal consumption in Finland typically fluctuates seasonally. Some of the fluctuation is explained by the natural variation in the need for electricity and heat between the summer and winter seasons.
 At the end of December 2015, stocks of hard coal totalled 3.5 million tonnes, or 14 per cent lower than one year earlier as per the data.
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