IMPACT OF TRANSPORTATION FACTORS AND AIR QUALITY LAWS ON THE MOVEMENT OF COAL TO THE MIDWEST

The principal consumer of coal in the Midwest is the electric utility industry. Two major factors that have a significant impact on the movement of coal to Midwestern utilities are transportation costs and requirements to install flue gas desulfurization systems on all electric power plants. A review of several transportation studies reveals significant variations in assumed future transportation costs. The study uses the highest and lowest of these estimates. A requirement to install gas desulfurization systems on all power plants may enhance the development of new systems that are less costly than the lime/limestone system if low-sulfur coal is utilized. Costs of limestone and ammonia absorption flue gas desulfurization systems are compared for various levels of sulfur in coal. Using the Argonne Coal Market Model, eight scenarios that incorporate different assumptions about the level of transportation rates and sulfur emission requirements were analyzed. It was concluded that shipments of Western coal to the Midwest will be most affected by the regulations adopted regarding flue gas desulfurization. High transportation costs, while important, will not be decisive. If stringent desulfurization is mandated, then the potential Midwestern market for Western coal will be seriously eroded. On the other hand, if more moderate desulfurization levels like those proposed by the Department of Energy are accepted, then the relative share of Western coal in the Midwestern market will increase.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Michigan Department of State Police

    Traffic Services Division, 7150 Harris Drive
    Lansing, MI  United States  48913
  • Authors:
    • Treat, N
    • Allen, Eoin
  • Publication Date: 1979-2

Media Info

  • Pagination: 116 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00196114
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Energy Research Abstracts
  • Report/Paper Numbers: ORAU/IEA--79-4(R) Tech Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: EY-76-C-05-0033
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1979 12:00AM