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Cost Minimizing Coal Logistics for Power Plants Considering Transportation Constraints

Ahmet Yucekaya
Industrial Engineering Department, Kadir Has University, istanbul, Turkey
Abstract—Fuel coal supply chain is a complex network in which multiple suppliers, coal products, multiple transportation methods with trans-loading option exist. Each supplier offer different prices for the coal contracts and depend on the location of the supplier, the transportation cost varies. The heat content of the coal needs to be evaluated as it is used to estimate the amount of energy that can be gained from the coal. This energy output should be able to meet the electricity demand which is expected from the power plant. In this paper, a linear model is developed to find the set of supplier, coal products, and transportation route that will minimize the purchase and transportation cost of the fuel coal for the power plants and also will meet the electricity demand. The solution methodology is applied in a case study in Midwest USA. It is shown that the model can be used by the power companies to find a desired solution for their coal supply and hence generate power with coal of lower cost.

Index Terms—Coal supply chain, energy demand, linear programming, transportation optimization

Cite: Ahmet Yucekaya, "Cost Minimizing Coal Logistics for Power Plants Considering Transportation Constraints," Journal of Traffic and Logistics Engineering, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 122-127,  December 2013. doi: 10.12720/jtle.1.2.122-127
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