Coal Age

SEP 2018

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Page 10 of 53

September 2018 7 news continued will continue with this modification. The North Dakota Public Service Commission holds a reclamation performance bond in the amount of $88.7 million on the site. Pennsylvania Offers Funding to Blaschak to Reopen Mammoth Reserves Anthracite coal operator Blaschak Coal Corp received a $1 million grant to develop a new, large mine in eastern Penn- sylvania. Provided by the Redevelopment Assistance Capi- tal Program and supported by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, the funding will support the reengineering, reopening and redevelopment of a large reserve of Mammoth coal in Mount Carmel. Once the development is complete, it will allow for the production of high-quality anthracite for the next 20 years. Throughout the mining process, the land will be reclaimed and restored to its natural condition. The development will employ 25 to 30 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) miners, with wages that are more than double the median household income in the region, the company said. "The grant serves as validation of our belief in the continued development and growth of the anthracite market in Pennsyl- vania," said Greg Driscoll, president and CEO of Blaschak Coal Corp. "We are proud to further economic development in our region and create new jobs, all while continuing to prove our commitment to environmental stewardship through the pro- cess of reclamation." Blaschak is one of the few fully integrated U.S. anthracite companies with a large reserve base, multiple mines and prep plants, a bagging plant, both rail and truck loading facilities. Alcoa Pursuing Liberty Mine Expansion in Indiana U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa is moving forward with plans to expand the Liberty surface coal mine in Warrick County, In- diana, by asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a split lower court ruling on a controversial surface mining ordinance passed by the city of Boonville, the county seat. Since early this year, the city of Boonville and the Save our Homes local citizens group have been challenging a per- mit issued in early 2018 by the Indiana Department of Nat- ural Resources for a proposed 3,516-acre extension of the steam coal mine operated for Alcoa by White Stallion Energy of Evansville, Indiana. Liberty produced 801,272 tons of steam coal in the first half of 2018 and 1.4 million tons in 2017, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The mine has approx- imately 75 employees. Pittsburgh-based Alcoa said it needs the extension to in- crease production at Liberty to about 1.7 million tons per year (tpy) to supply its 755-megawatt (MW ) Warrick power plant near Yankeetown. The baseload plant generates electricity for Alcoa's nearby Warrick Operations, which includes three ener- gy-intensive aluminum-making potlines that are restarting as well as a large aluminum rolling mill. Two of the three potlines are producing aluminum again, while the third is expected to resume operations on September 17 after it was idled by a brief power outage on May 28. NOBLE Sues Australian Coal Producers NOBLE Group Ltd. has filed a claim in Australia against two coal producers for alleged breaches of contractual obligations under a marketing services agreement, according to Bloomberg. The Singapore-listed commodity trading group said a unit has filed the claim in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against Yancoal Australia Ltd. and Gloucester Coal Ltd. for damages esti- mated at least US$127 million. The claim relates to a marketing services agreement it entered into in 2011. Yancoal said it is re- viewing the claim. India's NTPC to Start 5.68GW of Coal-based Power India's largest state-run power producer, National Thermal Pow- er Corp. Ltd. (NTPC) will bring 5.68 gigawatts (GW) of coal-based thermal-power generation capacity into production in the current fiscal year completing an investment to the tune of $3.28 billion. The addition to NTPC's thermal power-generation capacity during 2018-2019 was part of the power utility's plans to add a total of 20.2 GW of coal-based power generation over the next five years, government officials said. Significantly, NTPC is among the few power utilities in the country going ahead with capital expenditure on coal-based ther- mal power plant comes at a time when solar power has emerged as the cheapest energy priced in the range of Indian rupees 2.44 per unit to 2.92 per unit against thermal power priced at around Indian rupees 3 per unit. NTPC accounts for the highest thermal power-generation ca- pacity in the country with its plants' aggregate generation capacity of 55 GW against total installed thermal power-generation capacity of 200 GW in the country, with NTPC accounting for 25% of total electricity supplied. The power utility's aggregate-generating capacity is pegged at 53,651 MW. The continued investments in thermal power plants by NTPC also comes in wake of a predicted shortage of domestic supplies of thermal coal over the next two to three years and rising imports to bridge the demand supply gap, government officials said. "Coal shortage in the power sector will persist for the next two to three years and various state governments have been asked to allow imports to feed thermal plants operated by them," said India Minster for Power R. K. Singh. "There is an acute shortage of coal and this is evident be- cause of demand for power is growing," he said. "Coal will continue to be a problem till new mines are opened." Accounting for more than 80% supplies of the dry fuel to thermal power plants, Coal India Ltd. (CIL) achieved a production growth of 15% during April-June at 136.87 million tons and off- take by thermal power plants was also up 15% during the period at 122.8 million tons. While a section of the consumers feels the "green shoots" were a blip, CIL has set a production target of 630 million tons for 2018-2019, against 567 million tons achieved in the pre- vious year. However, industry insiders felt that missed the 2016-2017 production target by 5% after having missed the target by 3% during 2015-2016, sustaining the first-quarter production growth through the entire year might be "optimistic." Over the next two months, to bridge the shortfall in domes- tic availability, NTPC will import about 2.5 million tons of thermal Continued on p. 8... Continued from p. 6...

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