UPDATE : 2019.7.16 TUE 17:14
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China's coal demand forecast to drop slowly

China's coal demand is expected to fall at a snail's pace over the next 20 years due to the country's preference for the cheap fossil fuel, a report said on Mar. 7, 2019.

China's demand for coal is projected to reach 2.39 billion tons of coal equivalent (TCE) in 2040, about 13 percent lower than the 2.75 billion TCE in 2017, according to the report by the Korea Energy Economics Institute (KEEI).

This undated file photo shows downtown Seoul blanketed in haze.

That translates into an average on-year decrease of a mere 0.6 percent over the cited period, said the report based on data released by the International Energy Agency.

Coal is preferred for heating and electricity generation by cost-conscious power stations, factories and homes in northern China.

China's coal consumption has been cited as the main culprit for fine dust pollution in South Korea as the particulate matter blows in from the neighboring country.

According to the state-run National Institute of Environmental Research, external sources, mostly in China, account for up to 80 percent of South Korea's fine dust air pollution.

In recent days, South Korea has been gripped by choking fine dust, or particles smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, which can cause various respiratory diseases and undermine the body's immune system.

Seoul said it will maximize its existing financial resources to deal with the issue of fine dust.

The report also said India's coal demand will likely grow at an annual average rate of 3.4 percent to 1.24 billion TCE from 572 million TCE over the 23-year period due to increased coal-powered power plants.

Coal demand in South Korea, Japan and European nations is projected to drop during the period, which will likely be offset by growing consumption in Asia's emerging countries.

Global coal demand is predicted to reach 5.4 billion TCE in 2040, slightly up from 5.36 billion TCE in 2017, according to the report. (Yonhap)

Shin Jin-seon  edt@koreapost.com

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