Kentucky Utilities bought 4 million tons of coal in the November 2012-April 2013 period, with the Ghent plant providing the bulk of that burn at a little over 3.2 million tons.
That is according to the latest version of a twice-yearly report that KU filed Aug. 29 at the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
The coal burn for each plant during the six-month period, with capacity factors, were:
- E W Brown, 665,824 tons, 45.3% capacity factor;
- Ghent, 3,221,875 tons, 80.1%;
- Green River, 209,156 tons, 57.3%;
- Tyrone, zero, zero (Tyrone 3 was on inactive reserve until Feb. 1 when it was retired);
- Trimble County HS (meaning high sulfur), not applicable in both cases;
- Trimble County PRB (Powder River Basin), not applicable in both cases;
- Trimble County 2, 411,923 tons, 27.8%.
Any reasonably well maintained coal plant with strong power demand should be able to hit a capacity factor of at least 80%, so Ghent was the only LG&E plant that ran at around its potential during the period. Note that Trimble County values reflect 100% of the unit. Trimble County 2 is owned by Kentucky Utilities (60.75%), sister utility Louisville Gas and Electric (14.25%), IMPA (12.88%), and IMEA (12.12%).
Major coal suppliers in the November 2012-April 2013 period, by contract, included:
- Alliance Coal LLC, 283,356 tons;
- Armstrong Coal, 731,486;
- Armstrong Coal, 468,702 tons;
- Patriot Coal, 429,267 tons;
- Peabody Coalsales LLC, 634,206 tons; and
- Triad Mining, 311,252 tons.
Listed in the filing are all of KU’s term contracts in effect during the review period. Under some of these deals, LG&E shares coal with KU. Most of the contracts were signed two or three years ago and have two or three years left to run.
A newer contract was executed on Feb. 1 of this year with Patriot Coal Sales LLC for coal out of the Highland operation in Union County, Ky. It calls for 300,000 tons this year (at a base price of $41.90/ton), 600,000 tons in 2014 ($47/ton base) and 300,000 tons in 2015 ($49.75/ton base).
Another new-ish contract was executed in December 2012 with Western Kentucky Minerals and Sun Energy Group. It covers the January 2013-December period, is for coal out of mines in western Kentucky and Indiana, and calls for 90,000 tons (at a base price of $53.19/ton) in 2013, and 150,000 tons in 2014 (base price of $55.45/ton).
As of April 30, the coal inventories by plant stood at:
- E W Brown, 149,527 tons or 23 days, the plant’s target is 23-48 days;
- Ghent, 714,347 tons or 34 days, target is 21-39 days;
- Green River, 101,742 tons or 48 days, target is 37-69 days;
- Trimble County, 341,806 tons or 47 days, target is 22-45 days; and
- Total, 1,307,422 tons or 36 days, target is 22-44 days.
The Trimble County coal inventory includes both PRB and High Sulfur coals used for Trimble County Unit 2. Tyrone Station was retired on Feb. 1 and any remaining coal on-site was transferred to E. W. Brown, with the transfer completed on April 19.
Mike Dotson, the veteran fuels manager for both LG&E and KU, who prepared much of the report, also outlined recent changes in the Fuels Department:
- Effective Feb. 22, Justin Thompson left the department as Mining Engineer for a position outside the company.
- Effective May 13, Tim Smith joined the department as Manager Fuels Technical Services.
- Effective May 13, Tom Axtell, Lead Engineer, moved from being a direct report to Delbert Billiter, Manager Fuels Risk Management, to being a direct report to Tim Smith, Manager Fuels Technical Services.
- Effective May 13, Kenny Tapp, Senior By Products and Industrial Coordinator, moved from being a direct report to Caryl Pfeiffer, Director Corporate Fuels and By-Products to being a direct report to Tim Smith, Manager Fuels Technical Services.
- Effective May 6, 2013–August 16, 2013, William Walker was employed as an Engineer Co-op/Intern III reporting to Tim Smith.