State-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp said Thursday it plans to supply coal for power generation to local cement companies to help ease the industry’s severe coal shortage.
Kepco’s power generation units offered to supply coal to five major cement companies and these companies can provide their coal supplies to the Kepco units when they have sufficient inventories, Kepco said in a statement.
In mid-February, a person familiar with the matter said the cement industry was facing the prospect of production stoppages due to a global shortage in the supply of coal.
South Korean cement makers mostly use coal as fuel for their plants, and with only 30-45 days of coal inventories, they may have opted to shut down rather than switch to more expensive alternatives, the person said at the time.
Tightening supply in the international market and surging coal prices, exacerbated by recent floods in Australian mines, are adding to the cement makers’ woes.