STAMFORD, Conn., May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2013 International Coal Preparation Exhibition and conference, held April 28-29 in Lexington, KY, saw record international attendance — up 17% from 2012 — from a total of 21 countries. The increase was notable given the current state of the coal industry in the United States, particularly the Appalachia region, and coal producers' moratoriums on conference attendance, according to Coal Prep Show Manager, Florence Torres. "Stringent EPA regulations, a cyclical move to cheaper natural gas, and an overriding anti-coal sentiment has resulted in lowered production, jobs, and hence, lower demand for coal preparation in the United States," said Torres. "Increased export of US coal has helped to offset the freefall for many of the major coal producers. Coal Prep successfully targeted international attendance this year to capitalize on that trend, and to address the increase in coal exports." An over-arching theme at Coal Prep emerged from the plenary sessions at the event. Major coal producers who spoke at a new co-located Kentucky Coal Association Symposium, as well as the keynote and general session speakers all addressed the need for the industry to do more to promote the benefits of coal to the consumer public. To make the point, Keynoter, Nick Carter, President and COO, Natural Resource Partners L.P., shared with the audience that during the three days of the Coal Prep event – 60 million tons of coal would be used in the world. He then posed a question to attendees, but it was clearly intended for the rest of the world to consider: "Without energy, what can you produce?" Coal Prep 2014 will be held in Lexington, KY, April 28 through May 1. About Coal PrepCelebrating its 30 th year, Coal Prep is the only annual trade show and conference in the U.S. dedicated to coal preparation and processing, and industry professionals come from all over the world to share the latest ideas and most effective techniques on coal preparation and aggregate processing plant technologies. These professionals come to purchase and preview the latest equipment and services in order to increase plant productivity and reduce costs. Coal Prep is a Penton Media business. For information visit www.coalprepshow.comAbout Penton Media, Inc.For millions of business owners and decision-makers, Penton makes the difference every day. We engageour professional users by providing actionable ideas and insights, data and workflow tools, community and networking, both in person and virtually, all with deep relevance to their specific industries. We then activatethis engagement by connecting users with tens of thousands of targeted providers of products and services to help drive business growth. Learn more about our company at www.penton.com. Penton is a privately held company owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP.