Friday, January 14, 2011

Arch Coal’s port purchase could help Utah mines

Prospects of shipping Utah coal to Asian markets have improved with the announcement that Arch Coal Inc. has acquired a 38 percent interest in a Columbia River export terminal being developed by Utah attorney Joe Cannon.

St. Louis-based Arch, Utah’s largest coal producer, said it is investing at least $25 million into the Millennium Bulk Terminal near Longview, Wash. That port facility began operations during World War II but has since fallen into disrepair, a situation Cannon and an Australian company he represents, Ambre Energy, are seeking to reverse.

By 2012, they hope to have an operational terminal carrying bulk commodities to Asia from the West Coast, including coal from Arch’s three Utah mines — Sufco, Skyline and Dugout Canyon — as well as the company’s extensive Powder River Basin holdings in Wyoming and newly acquired coal reserves in Montana. Salt Lake Tribune