Peabody completes sale of minority stake in 1,600-MW Prairie State coal plant

Peabody Energy has completed the sale of its minority stake in the 1,600-MW Prairie State coal-fired power plant in Illinois to Wabash Valley Power Association for $57m.

Completion of the deal for Peabody’s 5.06% share of Prairie State, one of the nation’s newer coal power plants, was announced May 19 by Peabody and other parties. The deal, which is subject to certain customary post-closing adjustments, was first announced in January.

Peabody is the nation’s largest coal producer and it is involved in Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization proceedings in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.

Peabody expects to use the transaction proceeds for general corporate purposes.

Prairie State is a 1,600-MW coal-fueled electricity generation plant and adjacent coal mine in Washington, St. Clair and Randolph counties in Illinois, and the plant commenced operations in 2012.

The Prairie State coal plant had a 62% capacity factor in 2014, according to GenerationHub data.

It is owned by a group of public power utilities including American Municipal Power (AMP), Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA), Prairie Power, Kentucky Municipal Power Agency (KMPA), Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency (NIMPA), the Missouri Public Utility Alliance (MPUA), Indiana Municipal Power Agency (IMPA), Southern Illinois Power Cooperative (SIPC) and Wabash Valley Power Association (WVPA).

“WVPA’s new investment in the campus further unifies the not-for-profit business model in place at Prairie State and we are pleased to welcome another public power agency with a similar vision to our ownership group,” said Kevin Gaden, Prairie State’s Chairman and CEO of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. “On behalf of Prairie State’s Management Committee, let me say we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial partnership with our new cooperative colleagues.”

“The members and cooperatives of WVPA are excited to be a part of the Prairie State Energy Campus,” said Jay Bartlett, President and CEO of WVPA. “We look forward to a long and successful relationship with the other Prairie State owners.”

Peabody is shedding non-core assets in an effort to shore up its financial health during the ongoing coal market collapse.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at wayneb@pennwell.com.