Jim Patterson might disagree with you, as his company refers to coal as:
Clean Energy Solutions
Energy (or thermal) coal is the world's most abundant and cheapest source of fuel for power generation. It holds the best hope of reducing world poverty by producing inexpensive and safe electricity. As the world moves to a more environmentally friendly and reliable power source, coal remains the number one energy provider.
Coking (or metallurgical) coal is the principal ingredient in the production of steel through the blast furnace method,and makes up the majority of the coal handled by Westshore. Westshore loads ships bound for the major steel-making countries around the globe. Over the last five years, China has continued to double its consumption of metallurgical coal for its steel making mills annually,producing a record 700 million tonnes of steel in 2011.
Overall in 2011, Westshore moved a record 27.3 million tonnes of coal,up from its previous record of 24.7 million tonnes in 2010. This improved performance has come through expansive equipment upgrades over the past five years. Our first three-year, $47 million project was completed in 2010 and increased Westshore's nominal annual coal throughput capacity from 24 to 29 million tonnes. This phase added a replacement dumper barrel in the coal unloading station, as well as new conveyors and ancillary equipment and a fourth new highly efficient. state-of-the-art stacker-reclaimer.
A second, $53 million project is underway to replace an old single rotary dumper and add a second twin set dumper,available for train unloading. To speed the unloading process.
Westshore is also adding three coal car positioners to the dumper station,including two exit positioners for the first time, which will speed up the dumping cycle. The positioners move the train through the dumper under Westshore's control. The two oldest stackerreclaimers on site have been upgraded, and four of the seven conveyor transfer chutes are being redesigned and replaced. This second major capital project is expected to be completed late in 2012 and will take Westshore's capacity from 29 to an estimated 33 million tonnes a year.
Coal from the United States Powder River Basin is being exported through Westshore at record levels, exceeding 8 million tonnes in 2011.
Westshore's future has never been brighter, with the most bullish coal market in the past 30 years. With this in mind, Westshore has signed long-term contracts with its major customers - Teck Coal and Grande Cache Coal in Canada, as well as Signal Peak and Cloud Peak in the United States Powder River Basin in Montana-to ensure security of supply well into the future.Evolving coal mine developments in Alberta and northeastern British Columbia are expected to add demand for increased ship loading capabilities.
Westshore has an experienced and reliable workforce of over 200 full-time employees who are engaged with our plans to modernize our plant and site to take advantage of what promises to be a very bright future.
Sorry, just couldn’t resist!