Coal Age

JUN 2018

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12 www.coalage.com June 2018 news continued and adequate service and no one is complaining that Empire does not have safe, adequate and efficient equipment." Williams noted that Empire and other signatories to the stip- ulation, including the Sierra Club, "are no longer advocating that Empire should retire Asbury at this time; therefore, for that reason alone, any such commission finding at this time would be adviso- ry and unlawful." For its part, Empire said in a May 31 brief it listened to the concerns and reasoning of all parties, including the OPC and city of Joplin, "and has agreed to not retire Asbury immediately." As to how much longer the plant will keep running, no one knows. But Empire indicated Asbury's status will be reconsid- ered in the context of its triennial integrated resource plan (IRP) scheduled to be filed with the PSC in 2019. IRPs are long-range planning documents, often spanning 15 to 20 years. They are not set in stone, however, and can be revised to reflect changing con- ditions or circumstances. In any event, some believe Empire will propose the construc- tion of a new natural gas-fired power plant in its next IRP. Should that happen, it most likely would be 2021 or 2022 before it could be up and running. "Asbury, in spite of its various upgrades over the years, is still a relatively small, vintage 1970s power plant," it said. "It gets dis- patched less and less into the market. Yet customers are paying for all the costs to operate it, which means maintaining and staffing the plant. It is also likely that it will need another $20 million invested now for a new landfill and to convert existing bottom-ash handling from a wet to a dry system to meet environmental regulations as of April 2019." The plant typically burns more than a million tons of low- sulfur Powder River Basin coal annually. In addition to Asbury, Empire owns a 7.3%, or 191 MW, stake in the 1,576-MW latan coal plant near Weston, Missouri, and a 7.5%, or 50 MW, share of the 720-MW Plum Point coal plant near Osceola, Arkansas. American Resources Begins Production at Razorblade American Resources Corp., through its subsidiary Quest Energy and Deane Mining, recently commenced operations at its Razor- blade surface mine located in Letcher County, Kentucky. This is American Resources' fifth mine brought into production in the last two years since acquiring and restructuring an asset base. Quest Energy is initially extracting coal from the Hazard No. 4 and Hazard No. 4 Rider coal seams, with additional future plans for mining the Amburgy, Whitesburg, Hazard No. 5, Taylor, and the Hamlin Nos. 5, 6, and 7 seams using a contour, auger and highwall mining plan. Quest Energy anticipates several years of coal production from the Razorblade surface mine. All the mine's production will be trucked across the street to the company's 800-ton-per-hour Mill Creek preparation plant and/or its batch weight RapidLoader loadout. Once fully ramped, American Resources expects Razorblade to contribute as much as 26,000 clean tons per month of high- grade PCI and thermal coal and enable them to expand coal sales DON'T LET YOUR NETWORK DICTATE YOUR CHOICES Strata Worldwide and RFI Technology Solutions join together to bring the underground world a simple yet pow- erful solution for overcoming many constraints of typical digital networks. This solution assists in solving limited availability and fixed locations of un- derground power stations, it breaks the boundaries set by pre-existing network cables that dictate the placement of end-point devices, and it streamlines cable installation and maintenance – all by combining power and high- speed data into a single coaxial cable. With data speeds comparable to fiber, Strata Worldwide's DigitalBRIDGE™ is an ideal solution to bridge power and data to the edges of the mine. StrataConnect DigitalBRIDGE is a multi-drop Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) cable network. The simplicity of coax- ial cable eliminates the need for out- sourced electricians and enables op- erations to utilize onsite personnel for installation and maintenance. It can be cut and spliced anywhere and at any length and power can be inserted at any point. Operations can use pow- er stations wherever they are, and the 24 to 60 volts of DC power will flow in both directions. DigitalBRIDGE is fully compatible with any off-the-shelf PoE device. Using standard procedures to tap into the ca- ble, DigitalBRIDGE Quadport units can be attached to the network to provide four powered digital ports for devices such as: • Wi-Fi Access Points • Digital Cameras • Atmospheric Monitoring Stations (AMS) • PLCs • Mine Phones This point-to-multipoint network can be used as a standalone system or can be used to expand and/or break off from existing fiber optics. Mines around the world have used DigitalBRIDGE for Voice-over-IP (VoIP), high-speed digital data – particularly cameras – and re- al-time telemetry. The system is ideal for establishing powered connectivity in remote and abandoned areas that still require monitoring. For more information please contact Rob at 724-745-5030 or email us at info@strataworldwide.com. COMPANY PROFILE-PAID ADVERTISEMENT

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