Low coal burns push Louisville coal inventories to high levels

As of April 30 of this year, the coal-fired power plants of Louisville Gas and Electric were well over their target coal inventory levels, said the utility in a fuel report filed Aug. 26 at the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The fuel report period runs from November 2015 through April of this year. The coal inventories as of the end of that period were:

  • Mill Creek plant, 919,062 tons, 63 days of supply against a target of 20-43 days; and
  • Trimble County plant, 349,724 tons, 65 days of supply against a target of 21-44 days.

The Trimble County coal inventory includes both high-sulfur coal, which is used in Units 1 and 2, and Powder River Basin (PRB) coal, which is used only in Unit 2.

A combination of low load and low natural gas prices caused system coal consumption to be lower than budget during the review period, the utility reported. Increased gas generation, primarily due to the new Cane Run Unit 7, displaced coal-fired generation during the review period.

Coal, purchases during the review period included:

  • Alliance Coal LLC, 191,798 tons, Contract
  • Alliance Coal LLC, 1,521,348 tons, Contract
  • Alliance Coal LLC, 4,745 tons, Contract
  • Armstrong Coal Co., 209,655 tons, Contract
  • Armstrong Coal Co., 24,455 tons, Contract
  • Eagle River Coal LLC, 43,945 tons, Contract

Details on term coal contracts in effect during the review period are given. For example, there is a contract with American Coal for coal out of the New Era and New Future mines in Illinois, that was executed in December 2015, that runs for the period December 2014-December 2019. Contract Amendment No. 1 effective Jan, 1, 2016, changed the FOB Barge Loading Point to the Sitran Dock on the Ohio River. Contract is for a total of 3,000,000 tons, broken down as: 2016, up to 500,000 tons; 2017, between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 tons; 2018, also between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000 tons; and 2019, zero to 1,000,000 tons.

Changes that occurred in the Corporate Fuels and By-Products Department for LG&E and sister utility Kentucky Utilities included:

  • Bill Gilbert Sr., Fuels and Transportation Administrator, retired Dec. 31, 2015; and
  • Tedra Thomas joined the department in October 2015 as Fuels Administrator.

Changes that occurred in the Power Supply Department included:

  • Aaron Tolliver joined the department as Associate Trader on Feb. 18, 2016;
  • Wayne Jackson Sr., Trader, retired Feb. 29, 2016;
  • Alexander Greenwell joined the department as Associate Trader on March 14, 2016;
  • Ray Snyder Sr., Trader, retired March 31, 2016; and
  • Charles Schram replaced Bob Brunner as Director Power Supply upon Brunner’s retirement on April 30, 2016.
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.