Cloud Peak Energy Inc. (NYSE:CLD), one of the largest U.S. coal producers and the only pure-play Powder River Basin (“PRB”) coal company, today announced a throughput option agreement with SSA Marine that provides Cloud Peak Energy with an option for up to 16 million tonnes of capacity per year through the planned dry bulk cargo Gateway Pacific Terminal at Cherry Point in the State of Washington. The terminal would accommodate cape size vessels. Cloud Peak Energy’s option is exercisable following future permit completion for the terminal.
The Gateway Pacific Terminal is intended to be capable of exporting up to 54 million tonnes of commodities, including 48 million tonnes of coal, annually. Cloud Peak Energy’s potential share of capacity will depend upon the ultimate capacity of the terminal. Subsequent to receiving the required permits, SSA Marine anticipates approximately two years for construction. Commercial operation is currently estimated to commence in 2018.
“With up to 16 million tonnes of potential capacity at SSA Marine’s cape size terminal, we are pleased to have completed the next step in furthering our export strategy,” said Colin Marshall, Cloud Peak Energy’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition to our Spring Creek mine in the Northern PRB, our Youngs Creek acquisition last year and recently announced option and exploration agreements with the Crow Tribe provide us multiple, long-term development options to meet anticipated Asian demand for our low sulfur coal. Development of the Gateway Pacific Terminal will bring substantial revenues to federal, state and local governments, high paying jobs and will also help with the U.S. balance of trade.”
“We are very pleased to have Cloud Peak Energy as one of our base customers. Cloud Peak Energy has a strong record for safe operations and environmental stewardship. They have won national awards for their environment restoration programs and work diligently to share those programs and techniques with agencies such as U. S. Fish and Wildlife, the Bureau of Land Management, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality,” stated Bob Watters, Senior Vice President of SSA Marine.