Coal Age

SEP 2017

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14 www.coalage.com September 2017 news continued thought that would happen in January of this year, which is why the company deliberately increased its inventory levels. "But then the weather turned out to be 75° in January and February and that kind of subsided the tightness that we were seeing in the market," he said. Bilsland acknowledged the short-term buying strategy of utilities "makes everyone nervous when they see our open book and our competitors' open book," especially for 2018. "But that's just the new market dynamic. We don't seem to price our busi- ness on as long a period as we used to. But we think there is a point and we're not — hopefully — that far from it, where the market will overcorrect, and we will go from an oversupplied market to an undersupplied market. I think we came very close to that this year." Also, Bilsland said the Florida utility market has been very good for Hallador. Bilsland said Hallador currently sells to "mul- tiple customers" in Florida and is undergoing test burns "with a couple of new customers as we speak." Xcel Energy to Move Colorado Away from Coal Xcel Energy asked the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve a process that could lead to a $2.5 billion "clean energy" investment in rural Colorado. The "Colorado Energy Plan" proposes an electricity generating portfolio to augment the com- pany's current 2016 Electric Resource Plan (ERP). The plan would only be advanced if the resulting portfolio of resources reduces, or at least does not increase, the cost of energy to Xcel Energy's Colorado customers. To accommodate these cleaner-energy generating resources for the state, the utility is proposing to retire 660 megawatts (MW ) of coal-fired power at two generation units at the Comanche Gen- erating Station, located in Pueblo, Colorado, including Unit No. 1 by the end of 2022, and Unit No. 2 no later than the end of 2025. Unit No. 3 would remain in service. The new generation projects will be identified and selected through a soon-to-be initiated competitive acquisition process, targeting a mix of utility and independent power producer (IPP) owned facilities, with Xcel Energy having a targeted investment of 50% of the renewable generation, and 75% of the natural gas- fired, storage or renewable with storage generation resources in the portfolio. Portfolio estimates are up to 1,000 MW of wind, up to 700 MW of solar and up to 700 MW of natural gas. "We have a responsibility to meet our customers' energy needs. Our customers expect us to provide low-cost power and increase the use of cleaner energy. As the state's largest utility, it is important to us that we also support rural areas in Colorado, and this proposal's investment will accomplish this goal," said David Eves, president, Xcel Energy, Colorado. "The proposal could in- crease renewable energy to 55% by 2026, save customers money, and dramatically reduce carbon and other emissions." The Colorado Energy Plan supports "Our Energy Future," launched last year by Xcel Energy-Colorado, a successful initiative to empower customer choice, power economic development and provide for the use of new energy technologies. The company also noted that its energy prices are competitive both nationally and in the states in which it serves. In the past four years, the average electric bill for Xcel Energy's Colorado residential customers has decreased by 6%, and this proposal will help keep Colorado elec- tricity costs for consumers low and predictable. McCoy Elkhorn Gains Approval for Extended Cuts American Resources Corp., through its wholly owned subsidiary Quest Energy and McCoy Elkhorn Coal, has received federal ap- proval from MSHA to take extended cuts on its first super section at McCoy Elkhorn's Mine No. 15. The approval allows for an in- creased cut depth from 20 feet to 32 feet within the Glamorgan/ Millard coal seam. Production from Mine No. 15 is belted directly into Quest Energy's McCoy Elkhorn Coal Bevins Branch process- ing and load-out facilities, enabling cost-effective logistics, pro- cessing and blending capabilities, and sold in the High-Vol B met- allurgical markets. "We are very pleased with the timing of this approval from MSHA as we received it earlier than anticipated and enables us to further enhance our efficiencies at our McCoy Elkhorn opera- tions," said Mark Jensen, CEO of American Resources. "Addition- ally, we're proud of our strong working relationship with federal and state regulators, and our team prides itself on operating un- der a culture of safety and efficiency. This approval also exem- plifies how we strive to be one of the lowest-cost producer in the metallurgical and specialty coal market." Jensen said the company will continue to identify other areas of operational efficiency in its continuing goal to be one of the lowest cost operators in Central Appalachia and throughout all its coal mining, processing and transportation operations. c a l e n d a r o f e v e n t s October 25-27, 2017: The World Coal Leaders Network, Hotel Melia Sitges, Sitges, Spain. Contact: Coaltrans Conference: Web: www.coaltrans.com/world-coal-conference/details.html. November 7-9, 2017: MetCoke World Summit 2017, Chicago, Illinois. Contact: Web: www.metcokemarkets.com. January 28-31, 2018: 44 th Annual Conference on Explosives and Blast- ing Technique, San Antonio, Texas. Contact: Web: www.isee.org. February 7-9, 2018: 36 th Annual World Trade and Transport Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana. Contact: Web: http://mvttc.com/conference/. February 25-28, 2018: 2018 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME) Annual Conference & Expo, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Contact: Web: www.smenet.org. March 19-22, 2018: Electric Power, Gaylord Opryland Convention Center, Nashville, Tennessee. Contact: Web: http://2018.electricpowerexpo.com. April 23-25, 2018: Coal Processing Technology (CoalProTec 2018), Heritage Hall, Lexington, Kentucky. Contact: Mel Laurila, executive director, Coal Preparation Society of America (CPSA), Tel: 859-797-9118; Email: qcinc@aol.com; Web: www.coalprepsociety.org. May 6-9, 2018: Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM 2018), Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, BC Canada. Contact: Web: www.cim.org.

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