Court rules in latest Arch Coal/FirstEnergy case – against Arch Coal

The Pennsylvania Superior Court on Jan. 30 ruled in a long-running case involving a unit of Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI) and a unit of FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) in a case involving issues at a northern West Virginia coal mine that cut into deliveries to the Harrison power plant.

Wolf Run Mining Company (‘Wolf Run’), and its parent company, Hunter Ridge Holdings, Inc. (‘Hunter Ridge’), appeal from the trial court’s October 24, 2013 Order declaring that Wolf Run cannot take advantage of a price renegotiation clause set forth in a 2005 Coal Sales Agreement (‘the Agreement’) between Wolf Run and the appellees, Allegheny Energy Supply Company, LLC, and Monongahela Power Company (collectively, ‘Allegheny Energy’),” said the court ruling. “We affirm.”

Notable is that this dispute started long before Arch Coal bought Wolf Run and Hunter Ridge in a 2011 acquisition of International Coal Group. But issues with coal deliveries in this variation of the complaint did occur in 2012, after the Arch Coal buy of these operations.

This case is complex, but the basics are that the orginal case bounced around the courts for several years, then Allegheny in 2013 filed an amended complaint related to more coal delivery problems in 2011 and 2012. Wolf Run lost a decision in the amended complaint at a lower court, and the Superior Court on Jan. 30 affirmed the lower court’s opinion.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.