Usibelli resumes exports with sale to Japan

  • Rail cars are loaded before heading to Seward at Usibelli Coal Mine at Healy in this file photo. Photo/Adam Elliott/For the Journal

After halting exports last September, the Usibelli Coal Mine at Healy is currently fulfilling an order for 75,000 tons for shipment to Japan.

Railroad cars full of coal are now making the trek to Seward to be loaded once the ship arrives in mid-summer between June and July, according to a Usibelli Vice President for External Affairs Lorili Simon. Simon said the current order is for the single shipload.

Japan was the only export customer for Usibelli in 2015, taking 150,000 tons.

Usibelli supplies coal to six power plants in Interior Alaska including three plants serving military installations, one serving the University of Alaska campus in Fairbanks, one that is owned by Usibelli subsidiary Aurora that services local Fairbanks community with power and steam heat, and Healy 1, a 25-megawatt coal power plant at Healy that is adjacent to Healy 2, the plant that was began producing power last year.

The Healy 2 owned by Golden Valley Electric Association will purchase about 200,000 tons per year.

The mine produced about 1.2 million tons in 2015. In 2011, the mine exported a record 1.1 million tons.

05/04/2016 - 8:28am