Alpha Closes Mines as Coal Industry Faces ‘New Normal’ - Bloomberg
Alpha Natural Resources Inc. (ANR), the second-biggest U.S. coal producer, is shutting mines in Kentucky and closing U.S. regional offices as cheap natural gas and clean-air rules slash demand from electricity generators. Operations will end at eight mines in the state, including four owned by affiliates and four contract facilities, and production will be cut at others, Bristol, Virginia-based Alpha said today in a statement. The moves will reduce thermal-coal shipments by 2 million tons this year and 4 million tons in 2013, Alpha said. About 150 jobs will be eliminated. U.S. demand for coal in electricity generation will drop 9.7 percent this year to the lowest level since 1984, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Some power plants have switched to using gas after surging output from shale rock sent prices in April to the lowest in a decade. Alpha said a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants will further erode demand.
Friday, June 8, 2012
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