RES Coal LLC, a central Pennsylvania coal producer controlled by D. Scott Kroh, said Oct. 22 that elected officials joined it in formally opening a new $20m coal cleaning plant that will provide about 20 jobs and make coal from Clearfield and Centre counties more competitive on the regional and world markets.
RES Coal started planning the expansion two years ago on an existing 12-acre site in Clearfield County. The goal was to “stay competitive and preserve jobs in the Clearfield and Centre County areas,” said Kroh, President of RES Coal affiliate Robindale Energy Services Inc., at the plant ribbon-cutting ceremonies. The new plant that sits on an expanded 50+ acre site will clean mid-vol bituminous coal that is mined locally into a higher quality of coal. This cleaned coal (metallurgical and steam) will be sold both domestically and overseas.
Mitch Harvey, President of RES Coal, said: “The plant was specifically designed to protect the environment while providing cleaner coal to be sold and used for the generation of electricity and industrial purposes. Approximately 3,000 tons of raw coal per day will be fed to the plant via a conveyor system and cleaned before exiting the plant to be either trucked or railed to markets.”
Once cleaned, the coal’s Btu value has increased creating a higher grade met and steam coal. The cleaning of the coal also on average reduces ash from 15% down to 8%, sulfur is decreased from 2% down to 1% and the content of mercury is reduced but the percent reduction varies.
“Governor [Tom] Corbett’s pro-growth, commonsense policies are allowing companies like RES Coal to expand and create jobs in Pennsylvania,” said state Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary C. Alan Walker. “RES is helping to grow the state’s economy while playing a crucial role in establishing energy independence. And the company’s use of new technology will result in cleaner coal that is better for the environment.”
On a daily basis, the plant is expected to ship approximately 133 truckloads or 30 rail cars by RJ Corman Railroad and Norfolk Southern railways of clean and reject coal. Reject coal can be burned at a local power plant.
Kroh is a long-time veteran of central Pennsylvania coal production who served briefly a few years ago as a senior executive at Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE: ANR), which also has mining operations in the region.
RES Coal has three operations, all active surface mines in Clearfield County, that were all first listed with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration in 2008.
- RES Shawville produced 212,300 tons in the first three quarters of this year and 186,993 tons in all of 2011, according to MSHA data;
- RES Houtzdale produced 75,735 tons in the first three quarters of this year and 56,120 tons in all of 2011; and
- RES Morrisdale produced 67,016 tons in the first three quarters of this year and 107,208 tons in all of 2011.