Updated June 2023
Three grades of coal are produced in Alberta: subbituminous, metallurgical bituminous, and thermal bituminous. Forecasts are done for each type. Supply and demand fundamentals are considered, with the demand by coal-fired power plant essentially determining the supply of subbituminous coal.
Production from each operating mine in the province is evaluated based on current market conditions and publicly available information.
The forecast is based on production from existing mines that are still operational in the forecast period and the potential for growth for some of those mines. Only projects that have received federal approval from the federal environmental impact assessment review will be considered in the forecast.
The AER’s current forecast uses the coal-fired power plant retirement assumptions from the most recent edition of AESO 2021 Long-term Outlook and reflects any recent announcements by operators. The Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) forecasts the supply adequacy of electricity generation to meet provincial demand, given the scheduled retirement of all coal-fired power plants in Alberta by 2030.
All metallurgical and thermal bituminous coal production is assumed to leave Alberta with final consumption elsewhere. The largest importers of Alberta’s coal are monitored for steelmaking trends, power generation additions, and other trade factors that can influence demand.
All 2022 data are reported by industry until the end of December and do not include any subsequent amendments. The AER uses historical data from the ST26: Alberta Coal Industry Monthly Statistics report for production and demand statistics.