ST. LOUIS, Jan. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today announced an agreement with Canadian Crown Corporation Ridley Terminals Inc. ("RTI") – a coal and other bulk commodity marine terminal located near Prince Rupert, British Columbia – to facilitate coal exports to Pacific Rim markets. The five-year agreement will give Arch throughput capacity at the terminal of up to 2 million metric tons of coal for 2011 and up to 2.5 million metric tons of coal for 2012 through 2015.
"This transaction is another important step in accomplishing our strategic objective of expanding Powder River Basin coal sales into the Asia-Pacific region," said Steven F. Leer, Arch's chairman and chief executive officer. "This throughput agreement gives us direct, immediate access to the growing seaborne thermal market. It also complements our recently announced investment in the Millennium Bulk Terminal in Longview, Wash., and other continuing terminal negotiations."
RTI can load up to 12 million metric tons of coal annually, with expansion plans that could increase the facility's capacity to 24 million metric tons by 2015. Coal accounts for more than 80 percent of RTI's total volume, and Asia is the primary destination for the products shipped through the terminal. The terminal shipped 8.3 million metric tons of coal during 2010.
"RTI's vision is to provide value to its parent company and expand its role as a leading trade gateway between North American and world markets," said George Dorsey, president of Ridley Terminals. "This agreement is a very important contract for the terminal. Arch Coal's guaranteed U.S. coal volumes will support our goal of doubling our capacity by 2015."
Located on Ridley Island, RTI affords reduced sailing time to Asia – by more than one day compared to Vancouver, and nearly three days compared to Long Beach, Calif. RTI can handle panamax as well as capesize vessel loadings of up to 280,000 metric tons.
St. Louis-based Arch Coal, Inc. is the second largest U.S. coal producer. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies cleaner-burning, low-sulfur coal to fuel roughly 8 percent of the nation's electricity. The company also ships coal to domestic and international steel manufacturers as well as international power producers.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains "forward-looking statements" – that is, statements related to future, not past, events. In this context, forward-looking statements often address our expected future business and financial performance, and often contain words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," or "will." Forward-looking statements by their nature address matters that are, to different degrees, uncertain. For us, particular uncertainties arise from changes in the demand for our coal by the domestic electric generation industry; from legislation and regulations relating to the Clean Air Act and other environmental initiatives; from operational, geological, permit, labor and weather-related factors; from fluctuations in the amount of cash we generate from operations; from future integration of acquired businesses; and from numerous other matters of national, regional and global scale, including those of a political, economic, business, competitive or regulatory nature. These uncertainties may cause our actual future results to be materially different than those expressed in our forward-looking statements. We do not undertake to update our forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by law. For a description of some of the risks and uncertainties that may affect our future results, you should see the risk factors described from time to time in the reports we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.