Patriot Coal Corporation has declared that its Paint Creek Complex has stopped coal production temporarily at both the Samples surface mine and Winchester underground mine effective 22 March. The action was taken in response to high coal inventory levels driven by a combination of the CSX rail service disruption in February and continued weakness in demand for coal. Appalachian thermal coal markets have hit particularly hard over recent months by the combined impacts of coal-fired plant closures driven by EPA emission regulations, low-cost natural gas, and diminished export opportunities.
The processing and shipping of coal to customers from on-site stockpiles will continue despite the idle period. Coal production is scheduled to resume in approximately three to four weeks.
In other actions on 22 March, the Samples mine downsized the number of production units to reflect the reduced demand for thermal coal. An estimated 35 positions were permanently eliminated.
The Paint Creek Complex has approximately 400 Patriot subsidiary employees and is located near Cabin Creek, West Virginia.
Adapted from press release by Joseph Green
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/coal/23032015/patriot-coal-paint-creek-idles-production-1065/