A Publication Dedicated To Coal People

                          October/November  2007  Issue 


capsule news

ICG Addcar Systems, LLC hosted a delegation of coal industry executives from India, including representatives from Coal India and Singareni Collieries.  The delegation was visiting the U.S. to study the highwall mining methodologies and technologies – with particular interest in ADDCAR’s latest product releases – the Narrow Bench System and the Steep Dip System.  The visit concluded with an honorary dinner that was attended by leaders from the U.S. coal industry.  Bill Raney, president of the WV Coal Association, and Kelley Goes, WV Commerce Secretary, made presentations.


Investments in new safety technology and a culture of accident prevention are powerful deterrents to underground coal mine accidents, said NMA Vice President of Safety and Health Bruce Watzman in testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.  He noted that the strong progress industry is making in implementing the 2006 Mine Improvement and Emergency Response (MINER) Act could be slowed or delayed if operators are diverted by new requirements before they have implemented current safety provisions and property accessed their effectiveness.  He cited that more than 200,000 breathable air devices are placed into service or on order; the completion of new emergency response plans and quarterly safety training at all mines; the strengthening of underground communications systems and the installation of redundant systems; and the more than 35 new mine rescue teams either created or being assembled around the country.  NMA is working with federal agencies to expedite the development of wireless, ground-penetrating technologies that will enable rescuers to track and locate trapped miners.


Fairmont Supply Co., Canonsburg, PA, has acquired Brite Stars Sales, an industrial distributor serving the northern Nevada industrial and mining market, specializing in automotive and filtration products sold primarily to the gold mine customers.  Brite Star has an additional location in Round Mountain, NV.   Gary Heit, who started the company in 1984, will join Fairmont Supply as a consultant and will assist in the development of future business opportunities in Nevada.  Fairmont Supply is one of the largest full-line distributors of industrial maintenance, repair and operating supplies in the U.S.  Fairmont Supply and subsidiary Piping and Equipment, Inc., currently operate 25 service center facilities and nine on-site stores management locations across the U.S., offering more than 100,000 products from over 500 manufacturers.


Lee Supply Co., Inc., Charleroi, PA, announces that it is now a distributor of corrugated metal pipe from Jennmar Specialty Products.  Lee Supply will be offering a full line of products in diameters of 6” to 144” along with a full complement of accessory items for corrugated piping systems.  Lee adds: “As always, we are committed to bringing quality engineered products to our valued customers and remain dedicated to the values of solution, supply and service.  Our partnership with Jennmar Specialty is another example of this commitment.”  Contact Lee Supply at 800/353-3747 or visit www.leesupply.com.


C & A Cutter Head, Inc., Chilhowie, VA, has won a contract for a set of shearer drums from Grupo Acerero Del Norte’s Micare #6 mine.  It marks the first set of shearer drums delivered to Mexico by C&A.  The order was based on the benefits the equipment was able to provide.  The mine had a difficult seam height of approximately 5.9 ft. to 7.2 ft.   C&A proposed the installation of its 4-start, 2-bit-per-line lacing shearer drums, along with the CA-100 blocks and sleeves.  The drums have recently been installed in Micare #6.


The proposed Big Stone II coal-fired power plant in South Dakota received approval on a power line project needed to complete the project.  The power plant, a few miles west or Ortonville, MN, would go up next to an existing coal-fired plant, with half the electricity produced being sent to Minnesota where the power line comes in.  The new transmission system is planned for western Minnesota to carry electricity from Big Stone II throughout the states.  The entire project would cost more than $1.5 billion, with some $250 million going toward the new transmission lines.


Norwest Corporation, Salt Lake City, UT, international energy, mining, and natural resources consultancy, and Safety Solutions International, experts in the safety community, announces a working partnership to offer a comprehensive suite of safety, risk assessment, and low control consulting services targeted at assisting mining industry clients achieve world-class standards. Dave Lauriski, SSI’s president, says:  “This partnership provides Norwest and SSI an incredible amount of shared expertise for the benefit of our respective clients, and allows us to enhance our level of performance in all aspects of the mining and other related industries.  This joining of expertise will provide the energy and mining industry a level of consulting services not otherwise available.  For more info contact Robert Evans at 801/539-0044.


Six of Massey Energy Company’s operations have been cited for outstanding safety performance in 2006, and Massey member Charles Roach has been named co-safety leader of the year.  Marfork Coal Company’s preparation plant received the Joseph A. Holmes Pacesetter Award for operating the safest preparation plant with 26 or more employees.  Alex Energy’s MTR surface mine received the Joseph A. Holmes Pacesetter Award for mine safety for operating the safest surface mine with 26 or more employees.  Elk Run Coal Company’s Castle Mine earned the West Virginia State Holmes Safety Association’s Safety Award for operating the safest underground coal mine with annual production between 1,000,001 and 3,000,000 tons.  Independence Coal Company’s Justice #1 mine was honored for operating the safest underground coal mine with annual production between 500,001 and 1,000,000 tons.  Endurance Mining Company’s West Cazy Surface Mine was honored for operating the safety surface mine with annual production between 100,001 and 300,000 tons.  Elk Run Coal Company’s Black Knight II Mine was recognized for operating for more than five years without incurring a single lost time accident.  Charles Roach, mine foreman at Elk Run’s Black Knight II Mine, was named Co-Safety Leader of the Year for 2006. All six of the Massey operations cited for awards are located in West Virginia.


Walter Industries subsidiary United Land Corporation has acquired Tuscaloosa Resources of Brookwood, Alabama, which controls some 10 million tons of coal reserves.  The company also announces a $25 million share repurchase program, which reflects confidence in the long-term outlook of the metallurgical coal miner.


Plans to revive coal mining in northern KwaZulu-Natal are in an advanced stage, and expected to create more than 5,000 jobs.  Studies have revealed opportunities for small-scale mining operations because of substantial coal deposits present in numerous small seams.


World Trade Association, Coral Springs, FL, has launched a new global OTR field service program, designed to help companies in the mining industry to improve operational efficiency, reduce downtime and maximize tire performance.  Under the service program, OTR tire experts will be dispatched to any location to provide on-site analysis of operating conditions, provide comprehensive preventative maintenance procedures recommend the proper tire customizations for every job site application and provide maintenance and repair advice as needed.


Åmerican Electric Power, Columbus, OH, has reached an agreement to sell its 50 percent interest in the Sweeny Cogeneration plant in Texas to ConocoPhjllips for approximately $80 million, including working capital items and the assumption of project debt.  The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter.  Sweeny Cogeneration is a nominal 450-megawatt cogeneration plant located within ConocoPhillips Sweeny refinery complex approximately 80 miles southwest of Houston.


A team of researchers from Penn State University claims that a variety of end products including jet fuel, gasoline, and carbon anodes and heating oil may be possible using refineries and combinations of coal and refinery by-products.  The idea is based on the coal-to-jet fuel work, which is in the pilot plant stage.  For every eight barrels of a Jet A equivalent, the process produces a half barrel of fuel oil, one barrel of diesel and a half barrel of gasoline.  Researchers characterize the gasoline and fuel oil as fitting within the standard crude oil refinery stream.


Natural Resource Partners of Texas has obtained a rail load-out facility and spur from Cheyenne Resources in Perry County, Kentucky for $5.5 million.  The purchase includes a four-hour, fast-load, batch weigh load-out and approximately 24,500 feet of track that connects to a mainline controlled by CSX. 


Ringfeder Corporation, Westwood, NJ, has achieved ISO 9001:2000 recertification.  Ringfeder was originally certified in 2005.  Ringfeder markets a wide range of power transmission components and has been an industry leader in keyless shaft/hub technology for more than 35 years. 


PCB Piezotronics (PCB), Depew, NY, has formed the PCB Automotive Products Division, a sales and technical support facility located in Novi, MI, exclusively for the global automotive test market, including vehicle NVH and dynamics, vehicle and component durability, legislative and safety, crash, and powertrain testing applications.


An 11.2 percent rise in U.S. exports has been realized over the first half of this year, reports the National Mining Association (NMA).  Bituminous coal was up 11.2 percent with metallurgical coal up 17.8 percent.  Asia was the top recipient during this period, mainly China and India.  Imported coal accounts for some 3 percent of all consumption in the United States, the NMA says.  That trend is expected to continue to rise with East Coast power producers that have terminal abilities to bring coal in from Colombia and Indonesia.


The air permit for Prairie State Energy Campus being developed in Washington County, IL, has been approved.  The decision confirms that Prairie State’s advanced technologies will meet or over comply with state and federal regulations to protect the environment.  The decision caps an extensive 6-year regulatory review that includes approval by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Prairie State will be a 1,600-megawatt supercritical coal-fueled power plant and will provide electricity for hundreds of communities from Missouri to Virginia.


Dofasco is planning a pulverized coal injection system to service two blast furnaces at its Hamilton, Ontario Works, to lower fuel costs.  The project will be completed in January 2009 at a projected cost of $57 million.  Dofasco, a steelmaker, is a subsidiary of Arcelor Mittal.


American Electric Power, Columbus, OH, has finalized its transmission joint venture with Allegheny Energy to build a 290-mile, high-voltage transmission line from West Virginia into Maryland.  The Potomac-Appalachian Transmission Highline project includes approximately 244 miles of 765-kV extra-high voltage transmission from AEP’s Amos substation near St. Albans, WV, to Bedington substation, northeast of Martinsburg, WV.  Another 46 miles of transmission, consisting of twin-circuit 500-kV transmission, will be constructed from Bedington to a new substation to be built at Kemptown, southeast of Frederick, MD.  The total project is estimated to cost approximately $1.8 billion.


Captain Dennis Vicinelly led his mine rescue team for Consol’s Bailey mine to top honors at the Pennsylvania Bituminous Safety Association’s annual state mine rescue contest recently at Carmichaels, PA.  Rounding out the top five were Cumberland Coal Resources, Mine 84, Emerald Mine, and Federal No. 2 mine.  Top spot in the bench competition went to Ken Clarke from Mine 84.  Emerald Mine’s Emmett Cox and Jason Detrick were second and third, respectively.  In the pre-shift, Emerald’s Tom Bochna took first place, and Adrian Gordon of Mine 84 came in second, followed by Mark Gouzd of Federal No. 2.


Construction has begun on the Orlando Utilities Commission’s Stanton Energy Center in Orange County, Orlando, FL.  The 285-megawatt integrated gasification combined cycle facility will be among the cleanest and most efficient coal-fueled power plants in the world, officials say.  The new facility will begin commercial operations in June 2010, and will be operated by Southern Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company.  The new operation will turn coal into synthetic gas for generating electricity.


Teachers and students will soon benefit from a new Arch Coal Foundation grants program to Delta County, Somerset, CO., funded by Arch Coal, Inc., which owns the West Elk mine.  The grant is for $10,000 to K-12 teachers in Delta County’s public schools to invent and test innovative teaching ideas in classrooms during the school year.  Teachers throughout the county have received application materials and information.


Alcoa Corporation has sold its Three Oaks Mine to TXU for an undisclosed amount.  An additional 100 jobs will increase the workforce to 275 as a result of the sale.  The site, northeast of Elgin, has 250 million tons of coal and will remain in operation for up to 30 years.


AmerCable Inc., global manufacturer of electrical power, control, and instrumentation cables, and precision-engineered cable assemblies for harsh operating environments, has entered into a strategic financial partnership with Quintana Energy Partners, L.P. of Houston, TX.   Quintana has considerable investment experience and established relationships with energy-related companies and is a great fit for the investment portfolio, says Quintana Managing Director Corbin J. Robertson, III.   Quintana has a 70-year history of successful investment across the coal and oil & gas sectors.


GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc., Waukesha, WI, an environmental and geotechnical consulting firm, has received a Rock Solid Safety Award from the Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers (IAAP).  Companies must meet specific health and safety criteria to be eligible for the award.  GZA GeoEnvironmental is the only engineering consulting firm to receive the distinguished award from the IAAP.


The Holmes Safety Association has honored Peabody Energy’s Harris and Federal No. 2 operations with Holmes Safety Awards for outstanding contributions to mine safety.  Peabody subsidiary Eastern Associated Coal, L.L.C, operates both mines.  For the seventh consecutive year, the association has recognized Harris for its safety achievements, with honors earned for achieving the best safety record in 2006 among underground operations annually producing more than one million tons.  In addition, a team responsible for overland operations at Harris received a Special Recognition Award for outstanding performance after operating six years, or nearly 2,200 days without a lost-time injury.  The Federal No. 2 Mine was honored for achieving the lowest incidence rate in 2006 among underground operations annually producing more than four million tons.


Global coal use between 2001 and 2006 rose by 30 percent, or 1.4 billion tons.  In contrast, natural gas use rose 16 percent, hydro by 15 percent, oil by 9 percent and nuclear by 4 percent.  U.S. Department of Energy figures show long-term coal demand is expected to grow by 456 million tons in India by 2030 and by 3.1 billion tons in China. Coal generation is projected to outpace other forms by 3-to-1 through 2030. 


Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. plans to acquire Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern Railroad Corp. for $1.48 billion to meet a rising demand for moving coal and other commodities.  DM&E Chief Executive Officer Kevin Schieffer has said he planned to spend $6 billion for as much as 262 miles of new track to haul 100 million tons of Powder River Basin coal a year.  Union Pacific Corp. and Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp., the biggest U.S. carriers, now move about 400 million tons of the region’s coal annually.  DM&E has 1,000 employees, 7,200 rail cars and 150 locomotives operating in eight states.


CONSOL Energy Inc., Pittsburgh, PA, has issued notice of a layoff at Mine 84, near Washington, PA, that may occur in November.  Up to 111 workers at Mine 84 may be affected by the layoff.   The mine has a total workforce of 482. 


Chicago Pneumatic Construction Tools, West Springfield, MA, announces the addition of Jobsite Supply as its new distributor of pneumatic pavement breakers, chipping hammers and rock drills for Indianapolis and the surrounding area. 


Petitto Mine Equipment Inc., Morgantown, WV, has appointed the PJB Group of Australia to represent the company with its Petitto Mule brand of longwall shield retrievers in Australia.  There are 28 Petitto Mule machines currently operating in Australian mines.  PJB will give Petitto access to the Chinese market as part of the Industrea Group.  The company represents equipment utilization in nearly 90 percent of all longwall mines in the U.S. and Australia.


National Coal Corp., Knoxville, TN, has opened a new high-wall mine, expected to produce approximately 20,000 tons of high quality steam coal per month.  The opening is in conjunction with the company’s receipt of two additional highwall mine permits from the State of Kentucky, which will make it possible to keep the highwall mine operating for at least two years.


American Electric Power, Columbus, OH, has completed purchase of a natural gas-fired plant under construction near Dresden, OH, from Dresden Energy LLC, a subsidiary of Dominion, for $85 million.  The plant is expected to be operational in 2009 or 2010, and will be a nominal 580-megawatt natural gas-fired combined-cycle plant and will be operated as part of the company’s generation pool that provides power to AEP’s utility units serving customers in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.


International Coal Group’s Beckley Pocahontas Mine in Beckley, WV has started production, and is expected to produce 1.4 million tons per year by mid-2008.  The Eccles-based mine is ICG’s third to go into production in the past year and will work on the Pocahontas No. 3 seam with a reserves of some 37 million tons of metallurgical coal.  At full production the mine will employ 180 workers.


Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (SES) and CONSOL Energy Inc., Houston, TX, have entered into an agreement to investigate the development of coal-based gasification facilities to produce feedstock for various industrial chemical manufacturers whose plants have been shut down due to the high cost of natural gas.  SES and CONSOL will also investigate the feasibility of developing substitute natural gas (SNG) facilities to meet the demand for clean, affordable energy.  SES and CONSOL will use coal gasification technology to convert coal from prep plant tailings provided by CONSOL’s coal mining complexes in the eastern U.S. into higher-value products including methanol, ethanol, mixed alcohols, ammonia and SNG.


The Pittsburg & Midway Coal Mining Co., Englewood, CO, and Molycorp Inc., subsidiaries of Chevron Corporation, have formed a diversified mining company called Chevron Mining Inc.  The name change provides better alignment with its parent company and improved market visibility for its current mining operations and future growth opportunities.  Chevron Mining has more than 1,400 employees operating five domestic coal and metal mines.


Authorities have approved a 5,000-acre expansion of the Falkirk coal mine in Bismarck, ND as preparation work on the property has begun.  Falkirk, owned by North American Coal Corp., Dallas, TX, supplies lignite to Great River Energy’s Coal Creek electric power station near Underwood.


Peabody Energy’s Southern Appalachia Operations took first place honors in the mine rescue competition at the Third International Mine Rescue Conference in Nashville, TN, recently.  James River Coal Company blue team won second place overall, and Arch Coal’s Lone Mountain Processing Team came in third.


The Prairie State Energy Campus has entered into an agreement with Southern Illinois Power Cooperative to purchase a 125-megawatt equity share of the project.  Marion-based Southern Illinois Power serves members in 24 counties surrounding Prairie State, including Washington County where the plant is being developed.


World Trade Association (WTA), Coral Springs, FL, has launched a new global OTR field service program to help companies in the mining industry to improve operational efficiency, reduce downtime and maximize tire performance.    OTR tire experts will be dispatched to any location to provide on-site analysis of operating conditions, provide comprehensive preventative maintenance procedures, recommend the proper tire customizations for every job site application and provide maintenance and repair advice as needed.


American Electric Power, Columbus, OH, has formed a joint venture company with a MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company subsidiary to build and own electric transmission assets.  The joint venture, Electric Transmission America LLC, will be a 50-50 partnership to identify and invest in high-voltage transmission projects (345-kilovolt or higher) located in North America outside of the electric Reliability Council of Texas. The companies hope to initiate the first ETA project during the first half of 2008.


Arch Coal’s Cumberland River Coal Company’s Band Mill No. 2 mine achieved the nation’s best safety record in 2006 among large underground coal mines in the U.S., according to MSHA.  The Sentinels of Safety award was presented by MSHA and the NBMA.  It marks the second year in a row that an Arch subsidiary has been so honored.  The Band Mill mine is located in Letcher County, KY, and utilizes continuous mining equipment.  Employees there worked 178,000 hours without a single reportable or lost-time injury, significantly lower than the national average of 7.35 total incidents per 200,000 employee-hours worked for underground coal mines.  Arch’s subsidiaries achieved an overall 2006 safety rate of 1.23, almost three times better than the industry average.


Nineteen American mining companies won recognition from the U.S. Dept. of Labor for outstanding achievement in mine safety during 2006.  In total, 83 percent of U.S. mines operated in 2006 without a single lost-time injury.  The 19 winners of the annual Sentinels of Safety Awards included: Black Beauty Coal Company, Somerville Central Mine, Peabody Energy, Gibson County, IN; Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc. BeeVeer Mine, College Mound, MO; Falkirk Mining Company, North American Coal Corp., Underwood, ND; Peabody Energy, Northwest Colorado Operations (Seneca Mine, TwentyMile Mine, Hayden Gulch Mine and Terminal), Hayden, CO; Peabody Coal Company, Gibralter Mine, Central City, KY; and Coal-Mac, Inc., Holden 22 Surface Mine, Arch Coal, Inc., Holden, WV.  To see a full description of the award winning projects visit www.blm.gov and www.osm.gov


Danner, Inc., Portland, OR, a footwear innovator, celebrates its 75th anniversary. Danner opened its doors in 1932, looking to create a solution for consumer needs.  More than 30 years ago, Danner developed the stitchdown construction method and designed its first medium weight hiking boot, considered to be one of the most ideal hiking boots available at that time. In 1979, Danner introduce the GOR-TEX fabric inside a boot to create waterproof hiking footwear with the introduction of the Danner Light.


West Hawk Development Corp., Vancouver, Canada, has signed a contract with Luan Mining Industries Group to develop three new coal chemical projects in China and North America.  The projects will be at the Shanxi Lu’an New Energy and Clean Coal Chemical Base, Xinjiang New Energy and a third North America site to be determined.  New coal to liquids technology and equipment, developed by New York Energy Group, will be used for the development of new energy and coal chemical projects at all three projects.  The project is estimated to cost about $200 million.


American Electric Power, Columbus, OH, has signed a long-term power purchase agreement for renewable wind energy with Camp Grove Wind Farm LLC, a wind project majority owned by Orion Energy Group LLC.  Through the 20-year agreement, Appalachian Power will purchase 75 megawatts of wind energy from the 150-MW Camp Grove farm, currently being constructed near Camp Grove, IL, and expected to be on line by the end of 2007.


Deister Machine Company, Ft. Wayne, IN, supplier of vibrating screens and feeders, has completed a 5,500-square-foot expansion to its headquarter offices at Ft. Wayne.  The new facility houses a large conference room, and 17 offices for departments serving sales, purchasing, information systems, and inventory control.  Total operation space is 315,000 square feet.


Mississippi Lime Company, celebrating its 100th anniversary this year, has won the prestigious Sentinels of Safety Award in underground non-metal mine category for the third year in a row, as announced by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.  Mississippi Lime’s underground mine earned the award by completing 2006 with the best safety record in the entire nation for an underground non-metal mine.


Caterpillar Power Generation Systems, Peoria, IL, has been selected to provide six 12CM32 medium-speed generator sets to produce 33 MWe of power at three of UR Power GmbH’s vegetable oil-fueled plants on the Baltic Sea cost in Barth (Ostsee), Germany.  The plants will also recover waste heat energy for local industrial use.  The three plants – Barth, Cuxhaven I and Cuxhaven II – will initially generate 11 MWe at each site for a combined total of 33 MWe, while projected to reach 200 MW in total generated power by 2010.


Snow Phipps Group, LLC, NY, NY, has sold Excel Mining Systems for approximately $670 million to Orica Limited, an Australia-based industrial company active in mining services, consumer products, chemical services and distribution.  Excel, based in Bowerston, OH, is a manufacturer and distributor of specialty bolts and accessories for strata support in underground mining in the U.S.


Komatsu America Corp., Rolling Meadows, IL, has sold more than $200 million worth of mining trucks and support equipment to China National Coal Development Corp. (CNCDC), including Komatsu’s flagship 930E mining trucks.  CNCDC currently operates over 150 Komatsu mining trucks at two different mine sites.  The latest order is destined for the Pingshou mining complex at Shouzhou City in Shanxi Province.


The Ohio Air Quality Development Authority, Columbus, OH, has authorized the issuance of up to $355.3 million in Air Quality Development Revenue Bonds to help finance the acquisition, construction, and installation of air quality facilities, including solid waste disposal facilities, at four power plants co-owned by Duke Energy, and two others owned by Ohio Power.


National Coal Corp., Knoxville, TN, expects to close its stock purchase agreement with Mann Steel Products this month, acquiring 100 percent of Mann Steel’s stock for $55 million.  Financing the transaction is subject to a number of conditions.  The newly acquired operations will add more than 1,000,000 tons of capacity to NCC’s existing annual production capacity of approximately 2,000,000 tons.  Mann Steel currently has about 100 employees and produces about 1,000,000 tons of coal.


The Prairie State Energy Campus, Lively Grove, IL, has broken ground for its 1,800 megawatt supercritical coal-fueled power plant that will be supplied by an adjacent mine.  The project is expected to create 2,300 jobs at the peak of development.  Units 1 and 2 are expected to be on line in the 2011 to 2012 timeframe.  Bechtel Power Corporation will proceed with full-scale construction.  Partners have committed to purchasing nearly 1,435 megawatts or more than 90 percent of the project’s output.


American Electric Power, Columbus, OH, has completed the sale of its 50 percent interest in the Sweeny Cogeneration plant in Texas to ConocoPhillips for approximately $80 million, including working capital items and the assumption of project debt.    Sweeney Cogeneration is a nominal 450-megawatt cogeneration plant, approximately 80 miles southwest of Houston.  The AEP Foundation has committed to investing an estimated $120 million over the next five years to demonstrate green building technologies and support development of public green spaces and environmental education as part of the company’s participation in the Clinton Global Initiative.


Arch Coal, Inc., St. Louis, MO, has acquired some 157 million tons of recoverable coal reserves and surface acreage from International Coal Corp. in the Illinois Basin for about $38.9 million. The company now has more than 375 million tons of coal reserves in Illinois. The newly acquired reserves are in Perry and Washington counties, adjacent to some of Arch’s existing reserves in the region.


The Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have formed an alliance to provide construction workers and equipment owners and operators with information, guidance and access to training resources in an effort to help foster a safer working environment.  The alliance will target rough terrain forklifts, including telehandlers and straight mast forklifts, with a focus on potential operating hazards including ground conditions, machine mobility, overloading and their use in lifting personnel.  For more information call Pat Monroe at 414/298-4123.


Chevron Energy Technology Company will invest some $17.5 million in a coal conversion research project with Penn State University.  The project will focus on coal chemistry and conversion technology, advanced fuels, combustion, analysis methods, reactor science, separations, process technology, and greenhouse gas management and conversion.  The alliance also will integrate research with educational and career opportunities for students and graduates specializing in coal conversion and energy technologies.


CONSOL Energy has submitted a re-entry plan at its Buchanan Mine in Buchanan County, VA.  The mine was evacuated on July 9 due to a roof fall. The mine employs 450 people and produces around 4.4 million tons of coal annually at full capacity. 


Peabody Energy’s Lee Ranch Mine has earned a Safe Operator of the Year Award from the New Mexico State Mine Inspector for achieving zero reportable incidents in 2006.  The mine’s 260 employees achieved three years, or more than 1.5 million work hours, without a reportable accident.  Last year, Lee Ranch was honored by the U.S. Dept. of Labor as the safest U.S. surface mine in the nation for 2005, an award Peabody operations have earned three of the past four years.


ConocoPhillips, Washington, DC, has pledged $2 million to help fund the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Center, an educational facility being built on the National Mall in Washington, DC.  The donation puts the Memorial Fund at around $14 million in pledges, which is estimated to cost between $75 and $100 million.


Hawk Measurement, Middleton, MA, a provider of level, positioning and flow measurement technology, announces a new, redesigned website at www.hawkmeasure.com   The new site provides users in the water, mining, sewage, material handling, process automation and chemical markets with an in-depth view of the company and its products.


Peabody Energy, St. Louis, MO, announces that its board has approved a spin-off of coal assets and operations in West Virginia and Kentucky to BTU shareholders.  The spin-off will be accomplished through a special dividend of all outstanding shares of Patriot Coal Corporation, which would then be an independent public company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol PCX.


GN Power Co., Manila, Philippines, has signed a supply agreement with three local coal suppliers for its planned 600-megawatt clean coal facility in Mariveles, southern Luzon.  The $822 million coal plant in Bataan province is designed to use low-grade coal.