By St. Louis Business Journal

Peabody Energy has inked two deals with Chinese companies to develop coal mines and coal-powered electric plants there.

The White House announced the projects as part of Chinaâ¿¿s President Hu Jintaoâ¿¿s visit to the U.S. and an agreement announced Wednesday for China to buy $45 billion in U.S. exports.

Peabody⿿s first memorandum of understanding is with the China Huaneng Group to develop a ⿿clean coal electricity generation project with carbon capture⿝ in the Xilinguole League Prefecture, White House officials said. The project would include a large surface coal mine and technology to convert carbon dioxide into cement-like building materials, White House officials said.

Peabody⿿s second memorandum of understanding was signed with Yankuang Xinjiang Nenghua Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of Yankuang Group Co. Ltd., to jointly develop a ⿿clean energy center⿝ in China⿿s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The center will include construction of a coal electricity generation plant and coal-to-natural gas conversion facility fueled by a new open-cut coal mine.

Earlier this month, Peabody named Zhenchun Shi president â¿¿ Asia. The most lucrative coal markets in the world are China and India, where demand for coal for making steel is hot.

St. Louis-based 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.

The $45 billion, U.S.-China trade deal announced Wednesday also included including an agreement for China to buy 200 Boeing airplanes for $19 billion.

Also on Wednesday, local leaders said Chinese officials have picked an airline to negotiate a deal for cargo flights at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Copyright 2011 American City Business Journals

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