Martha Sparks Society Editor
September 11, 2013
Patriot Coal Corporation announced Tuesday that they plan to idle its Logan County complex located near Man, reducing thermal coal production by approximately two million annual tons.
Pursuant to the WARN Act, the Company gave 60-day notice today to affected employees. The operations expected to be idled include the Guyan surface mine and the Fanco preparation plant and rail loadout – with a total of approximately 250 employees being impacted.
Efforts are being made to place employees into open positions at other Patriot subsidiary operations, and the company currently anticipates that about 50 employees will be offered jobs at those locations.
“This is an unfortunate but necessary step to align Patriot’s production with expected sales,” Bennett K. Hatfield, Patriot President and Chief Executive Officer, said. “Despite the substantial progress being made in the Patriot reorganization, we still have to contend with the industry-wide challenge of coal prices that have fallen well below production costs at many Central Appalachian mines.”
According to Hatfield, thermal coal markets are extremely weak due to low natural gas prices and costly regulatory changes that have reduced coal-fueled electricity generation capacity.