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Posts Tagged ‘Insurance Council of Australia’

Costs of Back-to-back Disasters in Australia Continue to Mount

Posted by feww on October 22, 2013

Extreme fire danger issued for Sydney and Hunter region, as fire conditions worsen

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology has issued the following fire alerts for New South Wales warning that fire conditions will significantly worsen on Wednesday, October 23, 2013.

NSW declared a state of emergency on Sunday, amid the states worst fires in living memory.

  • Extreme Fire Danger is forecast for Greater Hunter and Greater Sydney Region.
  • Severe Fire Danger is forecast for  North Coast.
  • Worsening fire conditions are forecast.

In addition to Blue Mountains National Park, all state forests in Sydney, the Hunter, the central west and the Southern Highlands will be closed due to  high fire danger.

Other parks closed to the public include Kanangra-Boyd National Park, Wollemi National Park south of the Capertee River, all Hunter and Central Coast national parks and all fire-affected Port Stephens parks, said a report.

The bureau has raised its maximum temperature forecast for Sydney to 35ºC, up from 32ºC, as the air pollution levels turn hazardous.

NSW Health has warned people against heavy outdoor exercise because many areas in the state are experiencing poor to dangerous air quality, even hundreds of kilometers away from the fires.

“The last thing you want to do is to go out for a jog when you’re breathing in such heavy pollution,” AAP quoted The Australian Medical Association’s NSW president as saying.

How Many Fires?

At least 63 fires were burning, more than 14 of them uncontained, as of posting. The blazes have so far devoured more than 160,000 hectares (4000,000 acres), destroying or damaging hundreds of homes, and forcing thousands of evacuations.

As of noon on October 21, some 855 claims had been lodged with insurers, with losses of nearly $94 million, said Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), warning insurers that more claims will be lodged later this week.

Back-to-back disasters since the start of 2010 have caused billions of dollars of damage across Australia, with the insurance losses of nearly $9 billion, according to ICA.

The Global Threat Posed by Coal Consumption – Australian Coal Statistics

Australia is the world’s largest coal exporter. Coal is Australia’s second-largest export earner behind iron ore, worth nearly A$40 billion ($38 billion), with A$16 billion from exports of thermal coal. Iron ore exports are worth about $57 billion.

Coal accounts for 18 percent and oil and gas for 9 percent of Australia’s exports.

Black coal exports accounted for 60% of total energy exports, and 87% of black coal production. Black coal exports have increased by more than 50% over the past 10 years.

In 2009-2010 Australia exported 293.4 million tons of black coal to 33 destinations–Japan (39.3% of Australia’s black coal exports); China (14.5%, almost double the previous year), South Korea (13.9%), India (10.9%), Taiwan (9%), with 28 other countries taking the remaining 12%.

Australians boast their trains transporting coal are among the longest in the world, with as many as six locomotives and 148 wagons, extending more than two kilometers back to back, and capable of . carrying about 8,500 tons of coal.

The global seaborne trade in 2013 is forecast to increase to a total of 919 million tonnes. Japan’s 2013 imports are forecast to increase to 129 million tons.

According to International Energy Agency (IEA) data, world thermal coal trade is estimated to have jumped 14 percent in 2012 to 989 million tonnes, driven by demand in China and India. Growth is projected to slow to an average 2.1 percent a year between 2013 and 2018.

  • Australia’s average production costs in 2012 were about $85 a ton!

Australia’s thermal coal exports grew to a total 148 million ton in 2011.  In 2012 they increased by 10% to 162 million tons, and further growing  at an average annual rate of 11% between 2013 and 2017, to total 271 million ton by the end of the period has been forecast.

Australia’s exports of metallurgical coal are forecast to increase at an average annual rate of 8%, reaching 218 million tonnes in 2017, said a report.

  • Total coal production forecast for 2013:  405 million tons

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