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State

Report: Ill. coal enjoyed record exports in 2012

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A new state report that Illinois coal once shunned for its high sulfur content is enjoying record demand overseas.

The Illinois Office of Coal Development said Wednesday that the report it had done by Energy Ventures Analysis Inc. showed that 13 million tons of Illinois coal was exported last year. That's a five-fold increase from the 2.5 million tons shipped out of the U.S. in 2010.

Officials attribute the increase to the state's wealth of coal, competitive pricing and Illinois' proximity to shipping routes including the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

Total Illinois coal output rose 25 percent to 47.2 million tons in 2012, up from 37.8 million tons in 2011.

The Office of Coal Development is a division of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

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