| BOGOTA, March 11
BOGOTA, March 11 Colombia's government said on
Tuesday it expected its second biggest coal miner, U.S.-based
Drummond Co Inc, to resume exports of the fuel from
around March 24 as it nears completion of an upgrade to its port
to meet new environmental legislation.
The government shut the port in January after the new law
took effect, slashing the country's coal exports by about a
third after it banned the use of cranes and barges to load
boats, a practise outlawed due to the pollution it caused.
"On the 24th of this month, Drummond's port should enter
into service. There are ships on their way already and which
will be at the port by this date," Mines and Energy Minister
Amylkar Acosta told reporters.
Resumption of Drummond's exports looks likely to be the end
for now of more than a year of logistics and labor strife that
has blighted the Andean nation's coal production and caused it
to fall 4 percent short of its production target in 2013 when
output totaled 85.5 million tonnes.
Asked about the minister's comments, a source at Drummond
told Reuters on Tuesday that the company was holding to its
estimate of the end of March to complete works at the port and
Drummond was unable to finish building the now
legally-required conveyor belt loading system before the law
took effect, and has not shipped coal since around Jan. 12. It
said in January it expected to export again from late March.
Prices on the coal market in Europe, where most of
Colombia's thermal coal exports are consumed for power and heat
generation, initially rose on the news but have begun to ease
again for April delivery contracts in anticipation that
Drummond's shipments will resume soon.
Cargoes for delivery in May to the ports of Amsterdam,
Rotterdam and Antwerp (ARA) were trading at $76.50 a tonne, up
$1.60 from the previous settlement, with 50 lots traded.
ARA cargoes for delivery in March were up $0.60 at $72.00 a
tonne, while European year-ahead coal futures ATWYF5 were up
$0.27 at $80.70 a tonne.
For more stories on the port loading ban, see: