East Kentucky Power wrestles with excess coal at Spurlock

East Kentucky Power Cooperative as of April 30, 2016, had 1,155,568 tons of coal in inventory, which is 52 days of supply, the cooperative told the Kentucky Public Service Commission in an Aug. 26 fuel report covering the period November 2015-April 2016.

By power station the coal inventory levels are as follows:

  • Dale (which is being retired, with no coal burned during the review period), 9,356 tons;
  • Cooper, 231,124 tons; and
  • Spurlock, 915,087 tons.

East Kentucky’s aggregate coal inventory as of April 30 exceeded its target range of 25-50 days’ supply by two days. The Dale Power Station inventory was lower than its target range of 25-40 days’ supply by 21 days. The Cooper Power Station inventory exceeded its target range of 40-60 days’ supply by four days. The Spurlock Power Station exceeded its range of 25-45 days’ supply by 11 days.

The Spurlock Power Station inventory exceeded its target by more than the ten days due to lower-than-projected usage and the receipt of already committed deliveries. As of July 31, 2016, Spurlock had reduced its inventory to a level where it exceeded the target days’ supply by two days.

The Aug. 26 filing holds a number of other coal procurement details, including a list of coal contracts and the latest on efforts to collect money from the bankruptcy estate of long-defunct coal supplier Appalachian Fuels.

East Kentucky made no changes to its maintenance and operation practices which affect fuel usage at any of its generation facilities during the period under review, with the exception of Cooper. The tie-in of Cooper Unit 1 into the Cooper Unit 2 scrubber has resulted in a change to the way outages are scheduled and executed. Because the scrubber is now considered common equipment to both Unit 1 and Unit 2, each unit must be offline when scrubber maintenance is being performed. East Kentucky also noted that Dale Units 3 and 4 ceased operation on April 16, 2016.

Coal suppliers during the review period included B&W Resources, Bowie Refined Coal and Blackhawk Mining.

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.