Since 2003, SSK Capital has worked with clients to both raise capital for coal projects and find buyers for coal. We have deep backgrounds in the U.S. capital and credit markets, as well as senior executive backgrounds at mining companies such as Rio Tinto and Alliance Resource Partners.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has roiled European energy markets. On the fuel supply side, cuts in natural gas and coal imports from Russia have sent prices soaring. In terms of generation mix, we are seeing climate change goals being put on hold, with some coal-fired power plants having their lives extended, and other coal plants being brought out of retirement to add resilience to the power grid. These changes have created a temporary short position of some 40 million metric tons of hard coal per year in Europe.
Long term, we expect climate change goals to be achieved, and Europe to move to an energy market free of fossil fuels. To bridge to that state, however, we expect an interim period of some 3-5 years where hard coal imports will be an essential component underpinning grid reliability, as the EU manages its present challenges.