The topic on top of the discussion agenda at Energy Publishing’s inaugural Pacific Basin Coal Conference from February 24-26 in Waikiki, Hawaii, will be whether North American suppliers will be able to fill the gap in Asian markets left by Australian coking coal companies due to Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

Storm damage has delayed shipments into the Asian market and North American suppliers have a unique opportunity to provide economic alternatives in the lower quality metallurgical coals. Delegates from some of the coking coal industry’s major players will discuss the options for reaping the benefits of the current situation.

Organizers of the conference say they’ve secured a who’s who of the industry as speakers for the event. Some of the big names include Shinichi Fujiwara of Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal USA, Bob Bell of Teck Resources, Anglo American Metallurgical Coal’s Seamus French, Paul Vining of Alpha Natural Resources and Ernie Thrasher of Xcoal Energy & Resources.

Energy Publishing’s South African coal sector analyst David McKay says, “Explosive growth in demand for coal in Asia has made the Pacific Rim the epicentre of the industry’s present and future. At the same time, shifting supply and demand patterns throughout the world create complicated calculus to determine from where and from whom enormous new demand will be supplied.”

David McKay says the conference will provide specific, credible information to help coal companies make sense of the changing environment.

Producers from the major supply regions will be on hand to discuss their outlook, as will buyers from the various demand centres, including China, India and Japan.

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