By St. Louis Business Journal

Peabody Energy has named Zhenchun Shi president â¿¿ Asia.

Shi will have responsibility for advancing growth opportunities in Asia, which is expected to account for the majority of new global coal demand in the next two decades, the St. Louis-based coal company said Wednesday.

He will oversee a team charged with identifying and completing acquisitions and joint ventures in Asia and developing new operating platforms in China, Mongolia and Indonesia.

Shi, a native of China, will be based in Beijing and report to Peabody Energy President and Chief Commercial Officer Richard Navarre.

Prior to joining Peabody, Shi led development of Queensland, Australia-based Arrow Energy's coal seam gas business within China and Mongolia as country manager. His experience also includes 13 years with BP, most recently as vice president of the BP China Coal Business Unit.

Peabodyâ¿¿s operations in Australia provide coal for making steel in Asia. Last week, Peabody said operations at its mines in Queensland, Australia, were disrupted after the worst flooding in Australia in decades.

Peabody Energy (NYSE: BTU), led by Chairman and Chief Executive Gregory Boyce, is the world's largest private-sector coal company with $6 billion in revenue. Peabody fuels 10 percent of U.S. power and 2 percent of worldwide electricity.

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