Aurora Energy Services (AES), the operator of the Seward Coal Loading Facility under parent company Usibelli Coal Mine (UCM), said September 22 that it will halt its exports to Chile, South Korea and Japan — to which it shipped 1.2 million tons annually at peak, but now sends about 150,000 tons per year — through the balance of 2015.
In-state coal will still be supplied, according to officials.
AES General Manager Rod Brown said the company will furlough, though no exact numbers were disclosed. A small skeleton crew will be kept at the site for maintenance.
The Seward Coal Loading Facility’s exports have been falling since 2011, along with the demand for Alaska coal.
UCM, headquartered in Healy, is the only operating coal mine in Alaska.