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Appalachian Power Sues Coal Supplier Over Missed Deliveries

MountaineerCoal.JPG
David Adkins
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
Conveyer belts and heavy machinery near AEP's Mountaineer Power Plant in Mason County, West Virginia.

Appalachian Power is suing one of its coal suppliers, claiming breach of contract and seeking tens of millions of dollars in damages.

Appalachian Power wants to recover $45 million from American Consolidated Natural Resources, formerly Murray Energy.

The utility alleges ACNR failed to meet a contract to supply 2.75 million tons of coal in 2021.

Appalachian Power has told West Virginia regulators in recent months that low coal stockpiles have forced it to idle its Amos, Mountaineer and Mitchell plants for longer periods.

That then required the company to purchase power from the PJM regional market to meet its customer needs, but at higher cost.

The lawsuit was filed in Columbus, Ohio, the headquarters of Appalachian Power parent American Electric Power.

Murray Energy sought bankruptcy protection in October 2019 and emerged as ACNR in September 2020.

Its founder, Bob Murray, sought black lung benefits before he died in October 2020 at age 80.

Appalachian Power is an underwriter of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

Energy & Environment Reporter, ctate@wvpublic.org, 202-679-8470, @tatecurtis

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