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Last month, I read with interest and also with some sadness about the imminent closure of the country’s very last working deep pit coal mine. Kellingley pit near Castleford, which employed 3000 people in its heyday, is closing in early December 2015.

Kellingley, like other closed pits, still has vast reserves of coal available, but has been exposed to increasing carbon taxation and is less able to compete with cheaper imports.

This event may mark the end of an era for British deep mining, and a sad conclusion for a once thriving UK industry, but the use of coal as a fuel continues to be buoyant. You may be surprised to know that coal is still a very much used commodity throughout the world, with China, USA, India, Russia and Japan accounting for 77% of world use. Despite the closure of the pits, the UK continues to be a significant user of coal in in many industries. 

Currently around 31% of electricity in the UK comes from coal burning power stations which, although is not as high as previous years, still equates to a massive amount of coal demand. And of course coal continues to be used in coal fired boilers in schools, factories and other buildings throughout the UK. 

So, even with reductions in coal use, requirements for coal to enable us to live our daily lives are still high, and it looks likely there will be significant demand for coal for many years to come, even with the transition to using renewable fuels.

So although 2015 may be the end of an era for British mining, it certainly will not be for coal.

Did you know that YPO has a fully compliant public sector framework in place for the supply of coal? We have a long-standing relationship with some of the market leaders of coal in the UK. These suppliers continue to make significant investment in the sourcing, preparation, supply and distribution of quality coal, with a long-term commitment to serving the needs of graded coal customers throughout the public sector. All coal supplied is washed and to a strict specification to ensure high quality and consistency of supply.

The framework is used by a wide  range of customers; by consolidating demand and buying in bulk we ensure our prices are always competitive.

For more information on the YPO coal framework please contact [email protected].