Coal produced at Cloud Peak Energy’s Spring Creek Mine, located near Decker, Montana, will be carried by the BNSF Railway to Westshore Terminals at Roberts Bank, Vancouver, for loading onto ocean-going vessels for subsequent delivery to two new state-of-the-art Integrated coal Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) coal-fired power plants in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The two 540-megawatt IGCC plants are being developed by Mitsubishi Corp. Power Ltd., along with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc., and Joban Joint Power Co. Ltd.

“Cloud Peak Energy is pleased to be part of the Fukushima IGCC project and to help support Japan’s investment in next generation coal technology,” said Colin Marshall, Cloud Peak Energy president and CEO. “If similar plants were to be built in the U.S., it would go a long way to addressing concerns about CO2 emissions while providing low-cost, reliable electricity. Today’s announcement also demonstrates the strategic importance of American energy resources to key Asian allies.”

IGCC systems generate power using a combined cycle format incorporating coal gasification and both gas and steam turbines. IGCC systems offer enhanced generation efficiency, as well as reductions in CO2 emissions of about 15% in comparison with the latest, state-of-the-art, conventional coal-fired power plant designs and substantially lower than most plants in operation in the United States, according to Cloud Peak. The first new IGCC plant is scheduled to commence operation in September 2020.

“JERA Trading is glad to have secured a long-term coal sourcing agreement with Cloud Peak Energy,” said Ronan Lory, JERA Trading managing director. “It demonstrates that North America remains a key supplier of quality coal for exports and vindicates our decision to set up our new subsidiary JERA Trading North America LLC.”