Page 23 - Respond 2018 Magazine
P. 23


                       Global trade in petcoke is dominated by one country, the US (Data:

          Between 2013 and 2014, the trade was cut in half. (Japan also   Climate Home contacted some of the largest US petcoke
          remains a stalwart consumer of US petcoke.)          exporters. None returned emails except for Ahmed Jama,
                                                               CEO and president of Florida-based PermuTrade.
          “India has become the dumping ground of petcoke from
          countries like USA and China,” Sunita Narain, who heads the   “I cannot speak for other companies,” he said. “But I do know
          Centre for Science and Environment, told the Economic Times   petcoke is being sold into the power generation industry and
          in February. Narain is not only pushing for a domestic ban on   steel industry [in India].”
          petcoke’s use in power plants but an import ban as well.
                                                               PermuTrade is a relatively small fish. Jama said his company
          Lorne Stockman, a senior research analyst at Oil Change   transports between 0.6Mt and 1.2Mt of petcoke every year,
          International, said much of the US petcoke was left over   75% of which goes to the cement industry in India. According
          from the refinement of heavy oil from Canada’s tar sands.   to Jacobs Consultancy, Koch Carbon trades more than 20Mt
          Environmental restrictions in the US prevent it from being   globally every year. Oxbow, another company owned by the
          burned in most power stations, unless they are fitted with   Koch brothers, also ranks among the largest global traders.
          pollution scrubbing technology.
                                                               Jama said his company sells only to cement plants to ensure
          “The US refiners have invested in this heavy oil refining   the “environment is protected”. “We could make a lot more
          strategy in order to take advantage of the cheap dirty feed   money selling petcoke to many other industries, like the
          stock from Canada,” he told Climate Home. “Then this waste   power generation industry and steel industry but we are not
          product is dumped into markets that will accept it. It’s a   all about the money,” he said, adding that an India-wide ban
          perfect example of the industry maximising its profits while   on petcoke “might not be the greatest idea”.
          maximising its pollution.”
                                                               “Petcoke should be banned or limited for captive power
          It is uncertain how much petcoke is being burned around   plants but not for cement plants. There should be clear
          Delhi, according to an EPCA report, as refiners do not   sulphur emission thresholds in place for companies to
          collect data on how much is being sold into the capital   comply with and be held accountable to. If petcoke is cut,
          territory. It is also uncertain what proportion comes from   the government will need to provide cheap coal or they
          the US, as opposed to domestic refineries. During site   won’t have power,” said Jama.
          visits, however, EPCA inspectors found industries were
          using imported product.                              In fact, environment authorities are not pursuing a ban on
                                                               use in cement. But they are trying to control power plant
          The trade within India is controlled by some of the biggest,   emissions before Delhi again disappears beneath the smog
          most influential and least transparent corporations in the   of industry.
          country, including Adani Enterprises. Adani’s website says it
          sources petcoke from the US.

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