The World Coal Association (WCA) has appointed Harry Kenyon-Slaney – Chief Executive of the Energy division of Rio Tinto – as new Chairman with effect from 28 May 2014, following the WCA Annual General Meeting in Canberra, Australia.
According to the media release by World Coal, Mr Kenyon-Slaney took the reins from Dr Zhang Xiwu, Chairman of the Shenhua Group, who had chaired the leading global coal industry body for two years since his appointment on 24 May 2012.
“I’m honoured to have been appointed and look forward to engaging robustly in the debate about how the world’s growing energy needs will be met, whilst also addressing the need to tackle the very real issue of climate change. It is a complex dilemma with no easy solutions,” Mr Kenyon-Slaney said on his appointment.
“Undoubtedly the role of coal, as a cheap and plentiful source of fuel, will be critical in meeting the world’s future energy demands. We as an industry have an interest in ensuring that coal can be extracted and consumed in a way that minimises any environmental impact. I believe we need to see ongoing investment in finding technical solutions to this issue, recognising the significant role fossil fuels will continue to play in the global energy mix. I see a key role for the WCA in encouraging innovative solutions, and raising the efficiency of power stations and advancing carbon capture and storage are two fronts on which we expect to see real progress.”
Mr Kenyon-Slaney also paid tribute to Dr Zhang for his achievements during his tenure as Chairman of WCA.
“I would like to acknowledge the significant contribution made by Dr Zhang and the Shenhua Group during his time as Chairman. Under Dr Zhang’s leadership, the WCA expanded its capability and reach by establishing the Strategic Research Institute and launching Cornerstone, the official journal of the global coal industry.”
Milton Catelin, Chief Executive of the WCA, congratulated Mr Kenyon-Slaney on his appointment and called for unity among coal producers.
“It is an exciting time for coal, with International Energy Agency forecasts predicting global coal demand is likely to increase by 50% by 2035. There are however, global challenges we face – energy access, energy security, affordability of energy and reducing emissions, all require us to work together. The coal industry needs to be united, constructive and engaged in major energy policy discussions. I look forward to working with Mr Kenyon-Slaney on these issues and strengthening the work of the WCA on the global stage,” he said.