(Montel) The new Swiss coal-trading firm Panem has begun trading, with a focus on supplying up to 5m tonnes/year coal from Kazakhstan to Europe, a company source told Montel.
The Schwyz-based firm is the sole supplier of thermal coal from Kazakhstan’s Shubarkol Premium and Maikuben West coal mines, said Stanislav Chislov, head of trading and marketing.
“The benefit of Kazakh coal is that it is high spec, with high calorific value and low ash content, and there is also constant, substantial stock [at mines], which provides flexibility for customers,” he said.
Chislov was formerly head coal trader at Swiss trading house Telf but left to form a new firm after several former employees from Russian producer Suek’s trading arm joined the Zug-based firm in September last year.
Although Panem would market Kazakh coal globally, Chislov said Europe would be the primary market, in light of an EU-wide ban on Russian coal imports since last summer.
“Europe needs diverse supply of high-quality material to provide an alternative to Colombian and limited high-grade South African coal at a competitive price,” he said.
Kazakhstan previously provided Europe with 1-3m tonnes/year but was expected to have exported as much at 10m tonnes to the region last year, although official data has yet to emerge.