Coal Age

JUN 2017

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Page 9 of 59

8 June 2017 news continued Alpha Divests Green Valley Alpha Natural Resources (ANR) has sold substantially all of the assets of two separate operations, a coal mining complex and a natural gas operation, both located in central West Virginia. The Green Valley mining assets in Nicholas and Greenbrier counties are being sold to Quinwood Coal Co. The divestiture includes the Green Valley No. 1 prep plant and related permits, which have been idle since the second quarter of 2014. In addition to the coal mining complex, the New River Energy natural gas operation is being sold to Kinzer Drilling. The divesti- ture includes 120 producing natural gas wells in five counties. Alpha CEO David Stetson said the divestments represent an- other important step toward reducing Alpha's footprint. "With these significant divestitures, we will transfer 28 mining-related permits, reduce surety bonding by approximately $3.5 million, eliminate future reclamation spending at these sites, and further reduce our annual holding cost for inactive and idle properties by approximately $1.1 million," Stetson said. "Additionally, $2.7 million in self bonding will be eliminated as part of these sales, which will assist ANR in meeting its obligations to the state of West Virginia. "As with previous divestitures, Alpha has been able to enter into agreements with third parties that have indicated a desire to restart these operations and restore many jobs to the local com- munity," Stetson said. Stetson indicated that Alpha will continue to pursue sales of other non-strategic assets in the coming months. Terms of the transactions were not released. EPA Administrator Meets With Congressional Coal Caucus Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt met with the Congressional Coal Caucus on May 22 and carried with him the message from President Donald Trump that the "war on coal" is over. Pruitt also highlighted many of the changes that have been made from the last administration in- cluding Trump's executive order on energy independence, which calls for a review of the Clean Power Plan (CPP). Following the order, Pruitt sent a letter informing governors that the EPA does not expect states to dedicate resources to com- ply with the CPP, which has been stayed by the Supreme Court. On the same day Pruitt visited the Harvey mine, the EPA an- nounced its decision to review the final rule that amends the ef- June 4, according to the Xinhua News Agency. China Shenhua, the country's largest coal miner, was informed by its majority share- holder, Shenhua Group, that the company will be involved in an "important event" that has not yet been dislosed, according to a company announcement. At the same time, GD Power received a notice from its parent company, China Guodian Corp., one of the country's biggest coal-fired power generators, saying that it should suspend trading its shares. Rumors have circulated about a merger of Shenhua Group and China Datang Corp., one of China's five biggest coal-fired genera- tors. But both companies have denied that speculation. Bloomberg has reported that China Guodian Corp. and China Huadian, which is also a major coal-fired power generator, may merge with China National Nuclear Corp., the second-largest nu- clear power operator in China, to form a new company, Bloomberg said. The proposal to restructure the state-run power sector through a series of mergers, however, has not been finalized. Anglo Completes Dartbrook Sale in Australia Anglo American completed the sale of its 83.33% interest in the Dartbrook coal mine located in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, Australia, to Australian Pacific Coal Ltd. following the announce- ment of the sale and purchase agreement in December 2015. Dartbrook consists of an underground thermal coal mine and associated processing infrastructure that has been on care and maintenance since 2006. Czech Coal Extends Offer Date for CEZ's Pocerady Power Plant Energy group Czech Coal has extended its 10 billion crown ($420 million) offer to buy the Pocerady coal-fired power plant from Czech utility CEZ, according to Reuters, giving more time for the deal to overcome state objections. Majority state-owned CEZ's supervisory board will discuss the sale of the 1,000-megawatt plant to its rival after putting off a decision last month despite Czech Coal setting an end of April deadline for its offer terms. CEZ is looking to sell Pocerady to reduce its coal-fired gener- ating capacity and to focus on refurbished plants that emit lower emissions. It has an option to sell to Czech Coal in the future but the group, owned by Pavel Tykac, wants to buy now to begin mod- ernization work. CEZ management has backed the deal. The finance ministry, holder of the state's 70 % stake in CEZ, has objected. A Czech Coal spokeswoman said the company extended the offer date at CEZ's request to allow the supervisory board time to discuss it this month. She added the company would not go ahead with a sale if the finance ministry opposed it. Czech Coal, according to Reuters, said delays to the sale un- dermine its economic rationale. It is offering to pay 4.6 billion crowns ($186 million) in cash, more than twice the price of 2 billion crowns that would come due in 2024 under an option in a long-term coal-delivery contract that the two companies signed in 2013. South Korea Considers Closing Coal-fired Power Plants South Korea will temporarily shut down 10 coal-fired power plants that are more than 30 years old next month to mitigate air pollu- tion, according to the Straits Times. New South Korean President Moon Jae In vowed during his election campaign to close the old coal power plants and to review a plan to increase coal power gen- Continued from p. 7... Continued on p. 9... EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt (left) speaks with members of the Congressional Coal Caucus in the U.S. Capitol.

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