Peabody Energy said it will relocate its Executive Vice President and COO Eric Ford, along with reporting executives, to Brisbane, Australia—a move that reflects the significant and growing contributions of the company’s Australian operating platform. It comes against the backdrop of the successful acquisition of Macarthur Coal, a leading producer of low-volatile PCI metallurgical coal. Ford will lead Peabody Energy’s global operations from Brisbane and has been named chairman of the board of Macarthur Coal. He has nearly four decades of extensive international management, operating and engineering experience. He most recently served as CEO of Anglo Coal Australia Pty Ltd.
Reporting to Ford, among others, is Kemal Williamson, Peabody Energy group executive of project development. Williamson follows Ford to Brisbane, where he will focus on guiding expansion projects across the Peabody Energy global platform. Most recently, Williamson served as group vice president of operations and led Peabody’s U.S. mining operations in the Midwest, Southwest and Colorado.
“The strategic move of the office of our COO recognizes the large and growing contributions of the Australia platform to our business,” said Greg Boyce, chairman and CEO, Peabody Energy. “Peabody’s Australian operations and our acquisition of Macarthur Coal provide us a sizable operating base and a significant pipeline of growth opportunities.”
Boyce, noting the strength of Peabody’s current project portfolio and growth capabilities, said the company continues to invest organically to satisfy rising demand in the world's fastest-growing markets. In Australia, three of the company’s six ongoing mine expansion projects are expected to add volumes in the fourth quarter.
The Macarthur acquisition further expands Peabody Energy’s global presence, providing access to a large resource base of quality metallurgical product and an extensive growth pipeline serving the world's highest-growth coal markets. With the inclusion of Macarthur, Peabody projects pro forma production of 45 million to 50 million tons by 2014 to 2015. If these pro forma volumes were in place today, Peabody would be the second largest met coal producer in Australia and in the top tier of global met coal producers.