Frankfurt — Germany is expected to import 45-million tons of hard coal in 2019,up roughly 1.4% from 2018 despite mounting competition from renewable energy, as the closure of domestic mines reduces domestic supply, importers say. The total would comprise an estimated 30-million tons for power generation and 15-million tons of coking coal and coke, products used in steelmaking, data from lobby group VDKI showed. Germany’s last two hard-coal mines, in the west of the country, closed at the end of December under a deal to stop unprofitable mining in favour of imports. The pair had contributed an annual 2.6-million tons of power station feedstock. The coal importer lobby said hard coal usage would benefit from a court ban on logging in an ancient forest, a move that will impede the mining of domestic rival lignite, or brown coal, by utility RWE. The court ruling curbs supply to RWE’s brown-coal power plants, and hard coal could cover part of the deficit. Forecasts The two types of coal ...

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