This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

PBS Coals Idling 2 W. Pa. Mines, Laying Off 138

By KEVIN BEGOS

PITTSBURGH (AP) â¿¿ A southwestern Pennsylvania coal company is idling two of its mines and laying off 138 workers, but it hopes things will get better next year.

PBS Coals' announcement Thursday comes on the heels of a July announcement that it had laid off 225 workers. Before those layoffs, PBS had roughly 1,000 employees. Now, the Roytown and Hart mines about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh will be idled, too, leaving the company with about 600 employees.

PBS Coals Inc. spokeswoman Lori Mason said the Somerset-based company has been hurt by the weak global steel market. PBS is owned by Russian steel giant OAO Severstal, and almost all its coal is used to produce steel.

"The steel market has been sluggish, but we believe there is going to be a pickup in that" in 2013, Mason said, noting that the company is still making new investments in its operations.

The company also blamed tightening U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations, but competition from booming natural gas production has also played a role.

According to the PBS website, coal used for power generation made up 45 percent of its production in 2010. Now, steam coal is about 1 percent of current output, partly because the price for that product is so low. Many power generation plants shifted from coal to gas over the last two years because of a major drop in natural gas prices.

Other companies are struggling with the same pressures.

In September, Virginia-based Alpha Natural Resources announced it was immediately closing eight mines â¿¿ four in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania â¿¿ and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide by early 2013.

Bentek, a Colorado company that follows energy markets, said in a report this week that declines in U.S. coal consumption have pushed companies to focus on exports "and relinquish the U.S. power market to gas."

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs