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Cloud Peak increases its coal export capacity at Roberts Bank

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World Coal,

Cloud Peak Energy has increased its committed capacity and extended the term of its throughput agreement with Westshore Terminals, the company said in a press statement. The agreement covers the export of low sulfur coal from the Powder River Basin (PRB) via the Roberts Bank terminal in British Columbia.

In order to free up the new capacity at the terminal, Cloud Peak paid Coal Valley Resources (CVRI), a unit of Westmoreland Coal Co., US$37 million to give up its throughput agreement with Westshore Terminals.

According to the company, the new throughput agreement is effective from 1 January 2015 and extends the term to the end of 2024. As a result of the amended agreement, Cloud Peak will be able to increase its 2015 exports to Asia to 6 – 6.5 million short t. It currently forecasts exports of 4 – 4.5 million short t this year.

From 2019, the coal miner expects to increase its exports to Asia via Westshore Terminals again to 7 – 7.5 million short t.

“Despite current low international benchmark thermal prices, we wanted to take this rare opportunity to increase our terminal capacity so we can grow our exports to South Korea, Japan, Taiwan and other Asian countries before new terminals are built,” said Colin Marshall, Cloud Peak Energy’s president and CEO.

Located 32 km south of Vancouver and only 500 m from the US border, Roberts Bank is Canada’s largest coal export terminal and one of the busiest in North America, shipping a record 30 million t in 2013. In recent years, the terminal has seen increasing exports from US coal mines, particularly in the PRB, with US shipments reaching a record 9.3 million t last year.

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