The coal industry of Kazakhstan is one of the largest sectors of the country’s economy. In terms of coal reserves, Kazakhstan is among the top ten leading countries, coming just behind China, the United States, Russia, Australia, India, South Africa, and Ukraine. The state balance accounted for reserves at 49 fields and amount to 33.6 billion tons, including stone reserves – 21.5 billion tons, brown coal – 12.1 billion tons. Most of the coal deposits are concentrated in the Central (Karaganda and Ekibastuz coal basins, as well as the Shubarkol field) and Northern Kazakhstan (Turgai coal basin).
The Republic of Kazakhstan is among the ten largest coal producers in the world market, and among the CIS countries it is the third largest in terms of reserves, the second – in extraction and the first place – in coal production per capita.
According to the BP Statistical Review of World Energy, as of 2016, Kazakhstan ranks eighth in the world in terms of proven coal reserves. (33.6 billion tons or 3.8 % of the world total).
The volume of proven coal reserves, bln. tons
|Ranking||State name||The volume of proven coal reserves, bln. tons||Share in the world|
|1||The USA||237.3||26.6 %|
Today, the country’s coal industry provides production of 74 % of electricity in Kazakhstan, a 100 % load of coke-chemical production, fully satisfies the needs in the fuel of public utilities sector and the population.
In coal mining in the Republic of Kazakhstan, in the period starting from 2013, there is a reduction up to 5 % per year. According to the National Report of KAZENERGY-2015, after 2020, partial replacement of coal by other sources of energy (natural gas and nuclear capacities) is expected. By 2030 the share of coal in the energy sector is expected to decrease to 50 % (from the current 66 %) and almost to 40 % in 2040.
According to the Statistics Committee of the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan,the volume of coal production for 2016 amounted to 98.0 mln. tons (96.5 % against the plan). At the same time, 71.8 million tons were delivered to the domestic market, 26.2 million tons for export (90 % against 2015). The plan for 2017 is 100.0 mln. tons, of which 30 mln. tons for export, for domestic market – 70 mln. tons.
Coal extraction, mln. tons
According to current data, coal exports in 2016 amounted to 26.2 mln. tons, which is 3.0 million tons less than in 2015 (29.2 mln. tons).
World trends in the transition to a “green economy” affect the volume of solid fuel consumption.
Today, coal production capacities in our country are significantly ahead of demand in the domestic market. Increasing its capacity can only be expected in the long term by commissioning new coal-fired power plants.
But given the world trends, as well as the transition of Kazakhstan to a green economy, there is an urgent need for the development of coal chemistry. This direction can provide a quality change in consumer properties of products and accordingly increase its market price, and most importantly – will allow going beyond steam coal market.