The Usibelli coal complex in Alaska, citing an oversupply of coal globally as well as low prices, will idle its exporting of coal through the end of the year. Aurora Energy Services, 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 send 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 that 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.