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From Bloomberg: Bob Murray of Murray Energy Corp. Wants to Buy the Means of Production
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From Bloomberg: Bob Murray of Murray Energy Corp. Wants to Buy the Means of Production

 

CEO Bob Murray of Murray Energy Corp. has said he wants to buy coal-fired power plants as a way to shore up his mining company.

 

An acquisition could happen in 2018, allowing the company to mine coal, transport it to plants and then burn it to generate power, Murray said while attending the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit in New York. “It’d be the culmination of my life’s work,” he said. “It’s a new concept. If you control the fuel supply, you can price it how you want it.”

 

Murray has mulled such a purchase for at least 15 years but has come close only twice -- both in the past couple of years. The problem has been money, as utilities typically sell off the sites’ capacity payments when they close coal fired plants. That creates cash-flow problems for a potential buyer that could fester for several years.

 

He has his eye on five different plants, including some of the assets of bankrupt FirstEnergy Solutions, the W.H. Sammis plant in Ohio and Bruce Mansfield facility in Pennsylvania, both of which are for sale. Also attractive is FirstEnergy Corp.’s Pleasants Power Station, he said. The West Virginia facility is scheduled to close in early 2019.

 

“If you can dig coal out of the ground, you sure as heck can run a power plant,” he said. “We can run power plants better than the utilities can.”

 

View Bloomberg article.

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