SunCoke Energy is a world class leader in coke manufacturing. Our strategy builds on our more than 45 year history. Below are our business and growth strategies.
We have developed and instituted a management program to drive the reliable and cost-efficient operation of our facilities called the “SunCoke Way.” We believe that the SunCoke Way provides the foundation to operational excellence at our facilities and represents a key component of the future growth of our business. Our expertise at developing, constructing and operating our facilities will enable us to continue growing with our customers, and others, as they construct new blast furnaces and their existing cokemaking facilities require replacement.
We are also committed to maintaining a safe work environment and ensuring strict compliance with applicable laws and regulations at both our cokemaking and coal mining operations. We are in the process of implementing a structured safety and environmental process that provides a robust framework for managing and monitoring safety and environmental performance. In concert with our internal operations, we also seek to foster good relationships with regulators, policymakers, state and local officials and the communities in which we operate.
We believe that in the coming decade international markets and in particular emerging economies will drive the vast majority of coke demand growth. As such this will require significant new cokemaking capacity. We have targeted Brazil, China, Eastern Europe and India as key growth markets that we believe offer us attractive growth opportunities and where we will focus our development efforts. We believe our track record as a technological pioneer in cokemaking and our growing portfolio of reference plants provide strong name recognition throughout the global steel industry and serve as an effective marketing platform.
Integrated steelmakers in the United States and Canada have historically imported and are currently importing coke to fill a structural deficit in the market. In addition to this capacity deficit, more than 25 percent of the cokemaking capacity in the United States and Canada, representing 5.7 million tons per year of capacity, are older than 40 years. We believe a significant portion of this aging capacity will require replacement in the coming decade to address facility conditions or meet more stringent environmental standards. The combination of these factors, imports and aging capacity, present an attractive opportunity for our continued growth in North America.
All of our current cokemaking capacity, including from the Middletown facility under construction, is committed under long-term take-or-pay agreements. For our future projects we may seek to reserve a portion of the facility’s overall cokemaking capacity for sales on the open market. We believe that, when combined with a base of long-term commitments, uncommitted capacity reserved for open market sales will provide an attractive opportunity to capture significant value during market up-cycles. We anticipate targeting approximately 5 to 10 percent of our overall coke sales volumes for sales in the open market.
We have an active engineering and technology development program that is focused on maintaining our technological edge. This program is focused on adapting and improving our current cokemaking technology to meet the varying needs of customers in different regions and identifying new or adjacent technologies that could be developed or acquired to augment our offering and create additional growth opportunities. This program also provides a basis for continuous improvement in our current cokemaking operations.
In January 2011, we acquired the HKCC Companies adding approximately 21 million tons of proven and probable reserves contiguous to our existing metallurgical coal mining operations. We are also in the process of expanding production from our metallurgical coal mines by approximately 500,000 tons per year. In addition to organic growth of our coal production, we will also evaluate selective, opportunistic acquisitions of additional coal reserves that can complement our portfolio and grow our reserve base and/or our annual production.
Our core business model is predicated on providing alternatives for steelmakers to investing capital in captive coke production facilities. Consequently, our ability to grow requires significant capital investment for most projects and in turn requires a solid financial profile to support such investments. Our aim is to maintain liquidity and capital resources at levels that will permit us to continue to finance additional growth projects that are likely to require significant capital investment. Where appropriate, we also will pursue opportunities for attractive strategic partnerships and other project financing and structuring options, to maximize value for our shareholders and customers.