Sydney (VNA) – Australia’s high-quality coal is in high demand in Southeast Asia and can play a central role reducing energy poverty in the region, according to the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA).

The MCA said coal exports to Thailand increased from about 143 tonnes in April 2015 to nearly 557 tonnes in April this year.

Demand for Australian coal from Vietnam rose by 539 percent in February 2016, compared to the same period last year.

MCA executive director for coal Greg Evans said the figures demonstrate that developing nations in Southeast Asia require high-quality coal to meet increased electricity demand from a growing urban population.

He noted that the International Energy Agency forecast that Australia’s coal exports would increase by 36.7 percent to 2040, raising the Australian share of global coal trade from 29 percent in 2013 to 33 percent in 2040.-VNA