Export Markets

In 2015, Canada exported approximately 30.5 million tonnes (Mt) of coal, a decrease of 4 Mt from 2014. The majority of the coal exported (28 Mt) was steel-making metallurgical coal.

Percentage of total exports in 2011:

  • Asia – 73.4%
  • Europe and the Middle East – 13.3%
  • US – 13.4%

Domestic Markets

Canada consumed 50 million tonnes of coal in 2010 and the majority of this consumption was used for coal-fired electricity.

  • 44 million tonnes was used by 19 coal-fired power generation plants in Canada
  • 3.9 million tonnes was transformed into coke and used in the iron and steel industry
  • 2.6 million tonnes was used for industrial energy and non-energy uses.

Some provinces rely heavily on coal fired electricity. The following shows the per cent of electricity generation which comes from coal as of 2015:

  • Alberta – 51%
  • Nova Scotia – 56%
  • Saskatchewan – 42%

Cost-effective and reliable coal-fired electricty contributes to a strong economic advantage for Alberta and Saskatchewan because of the abundance of locally sourced coal which is harnessed through a “mine-mouth” operation where coal is removed from the earth and moved to a nearby power generation plant to be converted to electricity.

For more information: Coal 2012 Annual Review  (Natural Resources Canada)

Total Power Generation By Fuel (2009)

Image Source: Natural Resources Canada.