June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. coal exports are surging and, with pressure on domestic consumption from environmental regulation and cheap, cleaner-burning natural gas, coal companies are looking to expand capacity to ship to Asia and elsewhere.
Developing countries are building dozens of coal plants to provide power to electricity-deprived populations. They also need construction steel, the manufacture of which requires special metallurgical coals, and some of the best are in the United States.
U.S. coal exports have bounced between 3.6 and 13.7 percent of U.S. coal mined in the past 50 years. Analysts say exports could reach 200 million short tons a year, or about 20 percent of U.S. production, if trends hold.
Here is a list of proposed U.S. coal export facilities that, if all go through, could initially boost U.S. export capacity by 54.5 million short tons a year and ultimately as much as 129.5 million tons annually. Some face stiff opposition from environmental advocates.
Below that is a list of existing export capacity.
PROPOSED NORTH AMERICAN COAL EXPORT EXPANSION
* Burnside Bulk Terminal; Mississippi River, 60 miles (95 km) west of New Orleans, Louisiana; operator, Impala Warehousing, unit of Trafigura [TRAF.UL]; capacity planned up to 11.5 million short tons per year.
* Port of Morrow; Columbia River near Boardman, Oregon; coal throughput Ambre Energy, which acquired an option to lease land; capacity planned unavailable.
* Gateway Pacific Terminal; Whatcom County, Washington; operator, SSA Marine; coal throughput, Peabody Energy (BTU.N), 24 million short tons per year.
* Millennium Bulk Logistics, Longview, Washington; owners Ambre Energy and Arch Coal ACI.N; 5 million short tons a year initially, eventually up to 80 million.
* Corpus Christi, Texas; operator Port of Corpus Christi, coal throughput Cline CMK.TO of Canada; 2 million short tons a year.
* Houston, Texas; Kinder Morgan KMP.N Bulk Terminal, operator Kinder Morgan; source of coal throughput undisclosed; 2.2 million short tons a year.
* Ridley Terminal, Prince Rupert, Alberta; coal throughput Arch Coal, 2.75 million short tons annually for Arch.
TOTAL PROPOSED ADDED CAPACITY: At least 54.5 million short tons initially, up to 129.5 million eventually.
ESTABLISHED U.S. COAL EXPORT FACILITIES:
State/Terminal Max nameplate capacity 2010 exports
(mln short tons)
CNX (CNX.N) Marine** 12.0 10.6
Chesapeake* 4.0 3.2
Virginia (Hampton Roads)
Lamberts Pt (NSC.N) ** 30.0 15.5
Pier IX* 14.0 7.3
DTA* 20.0 14.0
South Carolina (Charleston)
Shipyard River 2.5 n/a
IMT (down for repair) 18.0 2.1
U.S. United* 17.0 n/a
IC Rail Marine (CNR.TO) 4.0 2.1
Lower Mississippi River Mid-river transloaders
Associated Terminals Variable
St. James Stevedoring Variable
McDuffie 12.5 8.9 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Westshore Terminal*** 26 n/a
TOTAL EXISTING: 160***** 63.7****
* Includes domestic U.S. movements
** Mostly exports coal for steel-making *** Mostly Canadian coal miner tonnage **** Excludes US exports to Canada ***** Nameplate, actual said to be lower
Sources: Ports, terminals, stevedoring companies (Reporting by Bruce Nichols; Editing by Dale Hudson)