LONDON – UK Minister of State for Energy, John Hayes, joined the World Coal Association (WCA) last night in celebrating the appointment of the new WCA Chairman, Zhang Xiwu.
Speaking at the WCA Leadership reception at the Institute of Directors, the Minister congratulated Dr Zhang and offered him his “very best wishes for his tenure as Chairman of the World Coal Association”.
Mr Hayes spoke of the vital role of coal in the UK, highlighting that: “No-one working on energy policy could be oblivious to the impact of coal, then and now, worldwide as a source of energy. Coal continues to have an important role in the UK energy mix, providing more than a third of electricity in an average year, and rather more in weather like this.”
Given this role, the Minister promised that he “[is] determined to be the Minister that put coal into the coalition”. In addition, Mr Hayes said: “We can bring clean, affordable and reliable energy to our people and to help share that benefit to other nations around the world. Organisations like the World Coal Association clearly have a vital role to play in doing that work”.
Dr Zhang is Chairman of the Shenhua Group, China’s largest coal producer. His appointment marks the first time in WCA’s 28 year history that it will be led by a chairman from China, marking an exciting period of growth and opportunity for the WCA and the coal industry.