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In 2012 there were a total of 53 coal-expansion projects, collectively worth $45.58 billion, in the Southern African region, according to latest research from Frost & Sullivan.

The rising global and regional demand for energy, along with escalating coal prices and abundant coal reserves, will spur the implementation of coal-expansion projects in Southern Africa.

Coal accounts for a significant share of Southern Africa’s primary energy needs. A large portion of its coal production is also sold to international markets in Europe, India and China.

Frost & Sullivan’s ‘Production and Investment Forecast in Southern Africa‘s Coal Mining Industry’ reveals that coal production in the region stood at 266.1 million tonnes in 2012. This is estimated to reach 308 million tonnes by 2018.

South Africa is the largest producer of coal in Southern Africa, while Zimbabwe and Botswana stand second and third respectively.

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