Coal Age

OCT 2015

Coal Age Magazine - For more than 100 years, Coal Age has been the magazine that readers can trust for guidance and insight on this important industry.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 51

St. Clairsville, Ohio-based company phases out production at G alatia's New Era mine, according to the Illinois Department of N atural Resources (IDNR). Gary Broadbent, Murray Energy spokesman and assistant gen- eral counsel, said in September that the most recent layoff of 112 hourly and salaried personnel at Galatia was related to an ongoing transition of production from New Era to the New Future mine, whose production costs are believed to be lower than New Era's. The layoffs included 50 hourly and 62 salaried personnel. While output is decreasing at New Era, the mine is expected to o perate into 2016, Broadbent said, although he did not indicate when it will cease production. New Era's production decreased from 927,444 tons in the first quarter of 2015 to 578,406 tons in the second quarter, according to the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration. The mine's employee count fell by about 200 peo- ple during that same period. The transition means Galatia should produce 7 million to 7.5 million tons of coal going forward, Broadbent said. New Era and New Future produced more than 11 million tons of coal in 2014. Production Could Start Soon for High Point Surface Mine United Minerals Co. LLC, operator of several steam coal mines in the high-sulfur Illinois Basin for Peabody Energy, could begin pro- duction soon at its newest surface mine — High Point near Boonville in Warrick County, Indiana. In early October, the company was awaiting a Section 404 Clean Water Act permit from the federal Army Corps of Engineers, the final regulatory approval needed for the mine. Earlier this year, the Indiana Division of Reclamation, part of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, issued a final state permit cov- ering more than 3,000 acres for High Point, which will be United's largest mine. According to a company official, High Point is expected to pro- duce just under 1 million tons of high-sulfur coal annually once it is in full production, probably sometime in 2016. The official was holding out hope that preliminary production could begin before the end of 2015. The official said High Point has enough reserves to last several years, although he did not elaborate. United currently operates the Cardinal surface mine in Pike County, Indiana, and the West 61 surface mine near Boonville in Warrick County. Cardinal produced 268,506 tons of coal in the first half of 2014, federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) records show. The mine has 33 employees. West 61 produced 445,653 tons in the first six months of 2015 with nearly 70 employees. United produces coal from the Indiana Nos. 5, 6 and 7 seams that average approximately 11,200 Btu/lb and 5-6 lb SO 2 /MMBtu. Project Will Double Coal Storage at Oak Creek Plant We Energies is expected to commence construction this fall on a $62 million project that will double the coal storage area at its Oak Creek power plant on Lake Michigan south of Milwaukee after receiving final regulatory approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in late August. The WEC Energy Group subsidiary said the project, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017, will enable it to burn more low- sulfur Powder River Basin coal in Oak Creek, in the process saving its customers millions of dollars in lower fuel costs. n e w s c o n t i n u e d for thermal coal. Australia is by far the biggest supplier to Japan, accounting for about 76% of Japan's thermal coal imports in the first eight months of this year. The price set by Tohoku and Glencore will likely be followed by other Japanese utilities. Annual contracts starting in October account for about 20% of Australian thermal c oal imports to Japan, covering about 22 million mt. India Vows Ambitious Green Targets, Defends Coal Use India set a series of ambitious environmental targets, including reducing its carbon intensity by 35% by 2030, according to AsiaOne, but rejected calls to curb coal use, saying developed countries were mostly to blame for climate change. In an action plan submitted to the United Nations ahead of a major environmental conference in Paris, India also pledged to generate 40% of its electricity from renewable sources within 15 years. "We are confident we will achieve the 35% target by 2030," Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said, adding that "it is a huge jump for India, therefore, it is a very ambitious target." Yet India also vowed to continue expanding its use of coal — it plans to double coal production to 1 billion metric tons by 2020 — saying it was vital to meet the needs of its burgeoning economy, which grew 7% last quarter. CEZ Considers Buying Vattenfall's German Lignite Assets Czech electricity producer CEZ will consider bidding for lignite pow- er plants in Germany put up for sale by Sweden's Vattenfall, accord- ing to Reuters. State-owned Vattenfall, which is under pressure from the Swedish government to get out of its profitable lignite power busi- ness in Germany because it is heavily polluting, said it would sell its German lignite plants. "We are definitely ready to look at the assets," CEZ CFO Martin Novak said at the Reuters East European Investment Summit in Prague. The plants could be operated profitably for years to come despite current low electricity prices, which have deterred investors from building new power capacity, he said. "The logic is very simple," Novak said. "Yes, it makes no sense to build anything new at 30 euros per megawatt-hour anymore, but it does make sense to buy something, discounting it with cash flow." CEZ, Europe's seventh-biggest utility with a market capitaliza- tion of $11.5 billion, has maintained strong cash flow and lower debt than many of its peers. The company has been looking at expansion opportunities as others are forced to sell. Indonesia's Adaro to Lower Coal Output Next Year PT Adaro Energy will likely cut down production at its mining site next year following ongoing decline in the commodity's price, according to the Jakarta Post. Adaro President Director Garibaldi Thohir said his company was looking at output in the range of 52 to 54 million metric tons (mt) next year, which would be up to 7% low- er compared to this year's target of between 54 to 56 million mt. BHP, SaskPower Partner to Speed Up Development of CCS Technology BHP Billiton and Saskatchewan-based electricity provider Continued from p. 5... 6 October 2015 Continued on p. 8...

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Coal Age - OCT 2015