Coal Age

APR 2019

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April 2019 15 u.s. news continued c a l e n d a r o f e v e n t s May 20-22, 2019: Longwall USA, David L. Lawrence Convention Cen- ter, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Contact: Web: June 3-7, 2019: The 9 th International Conference on Clean Coal Tech- nologies, Houston, Texas. Contact: Web: June 4-6, 2019: The 39 th APCOM Mining Goes Digital confer- ence, Wroclaw, Poland. Contact: Web: June 10-12, 2019: NCTA Operations and Maintenance Confer- ence, Ritz Carlton Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri. Contact: Web: June 23-25, 2019: Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute (RMCMI), Vail, Colorado. Contact: Web: August 27-29, 2019: AIMEX, Sydney Showgrounds, Sydney, Australia. Contact: Web: September 11-13, 2019: Bluefield Coal Show, Brushfork Armory, Bluefield, West Virginia. Contact: Web: www.bluefieldchamber. com/bluefield-coal-show. October 30-November 2, 2019: China Coal & Mining Expo, New China International Exhibition Center, Beijing, China. Contact: Web: November 13-15, 2019: XIX International Coal Preparation Congress & Expo 2019, New Delhi, India. Contact: Web: November 24-28, 2019: International Conference on Coal Science and Technology, Krakow, Poland. Contact: Web: et added he plans to talk to Hallador/ Sunrise officials soon about their plans for Bulldog. Gonet has announced his retirement at the end of 2019. Attempts to reach Hallador and Sunrise officials for comment were unsuccessful. This year, Sunrise is increasing production to 8.2 million tons, up from 7.6 million tons in 2018. The company said it has sales commitments to pro- duce in the neighborhood of 8 million tons per year over the next four years. In the past couple of years, Sun- rise has been accessing some of its eastern Illinois coal reserves by tun- neling under the Wabash River from its twin Oaktown underground mines in Knox County, Indiana. Together the Oaktown mines pro- duce more than 5 million tons per year (tpy). Last year, Sunrise reopened its once-flagship Carlisle underground mine in Sullivan County, Indiana. It also operates the much smaller Ace in the Hole surface mine in Clay Coun- ty, Indiana. Ace's lower-sulfur coal is used for blending purposes, in partic- ular to supply electric utilities in the U.S. Southeast. According to Gonet, Sunrise is seeking regulatory approval to locate a new mine portal in eastern Illinois. East Kentucky Will Keep Spurlock, Cooper Plants Running for 15 Years Two Central Appalachian coal-burn- ing power plants owned by East Ken- tucky Power Cooperative (EKPC) are expected to continue to run at least through the early 2030s, providing a market for some of the regional coal producers who have been hit hard by the wave of coal plant closings over the past decade. The Winchester-based generation and transmission co-op, one of the largest in the United States with more than 500,000 customers, confirmed in its latest integrated resource plan filed with the Kentucky Public Service Commission in April that it intends to keep operating its 1,346-megawatt (MW ) Spurlock plant in Mason Coun- ty and 341-MW Cooper plant in Pu- laski County through the 15 years cov- ered by the IRP. The lengthy planning documents, prepared every few years by electric utilities in Kentucky, are essentially a snapshot in time. That means they can be revised or amend- ed over the years, depending on changing circumstances. But EKPC spokesman Nick Comer reaffirmed that for now, Spurlock and Cooper are considered key generation assets and there are no plans to retire them or switch them to burn natural gas. Spurlock consists of four units, built between 1977 and 2009. The two newest units, both rated at 268 MW, use fluidized bed technology. Spur- lock and Cooper generally burn re- gional Central Appalachian coal. The co-op retired all four units at its smallest coal plant, 150-MW Dale, in 2015 and 2016. According to the IRP, EKPC ad- heres to a strict formal maintenance planning process to identify major projects needed at its power plants on a five-year basis. Besides the two baseload coal plants, the co-op also has 989 MW of natural gas-fired generation in Clark County, where Winchester is located, and owns the 567-MW gas- fired Bluegrass Generating Station in Oldham County, Kentucky. It also has several small landfill gas plants totaling 16.1 MW. Although it has no power plant retirement EKPC said it continues to work with federal and state stakehold- ers "to ensure the economic viability of its existing and future resources to meet the challenges and opportunities in complying with current and pro- posed environmental regulations." The co-op said it has enough exist- ing generation resources for at least five years but may need to add 100 MW in both 2024 and 2029, either than a pow- er purchase agreement or some other economic supply option. Comer said no final decisions have been made. Unlike many electric utilities in the region, the co-op is forecasting rather healthy load growth, 1.4% an- nually, through the forecast period. EKPC's 16-member co-ops are ex- pected to add more than 50,000 new customers through 2033. Altogether, EKPC serves 500,000 customers in more than 80 of Ken- tucky's 120 counties.

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