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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2003

Governor Continues Support for the Illinois Coal Industry
$17.2 million in FY2003 Coal Infrastructure Grants announced

HARRISBURG, IL -- Governor Rod Blagojevich today announced 37 grants through the Coal Infrastructure program totaling more than $17 million.  The grants are aimed at improving coal production, transportation and utilization systems in Illinois.

The grants will leverage nearly $128 million in private spending for equipment upgrades, facility expansions and other infrastructure improvements at mines, power plants and transportation facilities.  These investments are aimed at improving the quality of Illinois-mined coal, creating new markets for that coal and making Illinois producers more competitive in the marketplace.

“The Illinois Coal Infrastructure Program has sustained our coal operators through a difficult period and has encouraged them to make those investments necessary to ensure a future for coal mining in Illinois,” Governor Blagojevich said.  “The end result is jobs retained and jobs created in the coal mining regions of the state.”

Since the program was launched in 1996, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) Office of Coal Development has awarded more than $81 million for 221 projects. 

“With over $549 million in private investment leveraged by this program to date, we have a coal industry poised for growth,” said DCEO Director Jack Lavin.  “Illinois coal producers will be there to help us meet the energy needs of Illinois citizens and businesses throughout the 21st century.”

The Illinois coal industry pumps nearly $1 billion annually into the Illinois economy.

A list of the FY2003 Coal Infrastructure Program grant awards follows:

American Coal Company Saline County

  • A grant of $900,000 to replace longwall roof support shields at the Galatia Mine.  The project will improve reliability and safety at the working face.

Arclar, l.l.c.          Gallatin County

  • A grant of $935,000 to construct a new coal preparation facility that will clean up to 1.5 million tons of coal annually.

Black Beauty Coal Company       Vermilion County

  • A grant of $687,000 for equipment upgrades required by new MSHA diesel regulations.  Additionally, an air conditioning system will be installed at the Vermilion Grove Mine to improve roof conditions, air quality and safety in the mine.

Black Hills Mining, l.l.c., A Peabody Energy Affiliate          Gallatin County

  • A grant of $950,000 to develop an underground mine adjacent to the Willow Lake Mining Complex.  Funding will assist with the purchase of underground equipment and support facilities at the site.  The project will create 120 new mining jobs.

Central Illinois Energy Fulton County

  • A grant of $750,000 to assist with construction of a new ethanol production facility.  The plant will produce 30-million gallons of ethanol per year using waste coal while co-generating electricity on-site.

Corn Products International, Inc.        Cook County

  • A grant of $2,234,557 for improvements that will allow the Bedford Park Argo plant to meet more stringent air emissions limits going into effect in 2004.  Phase 1 of the project includes the design and engineering of a new boiler that will allow Corn Products to continue its use of 300,000 tons of Illinois coal each year.

DTE PepTec, Inc.        Perry County

  • A grant of $750,000 for the design, engineering and construction of a fine coal recovery plant utilizing patented DTE PepTec technology.  The total clean fine coal output is estimated at 500,000 tons per year.  The plant will employ 35 workers and another 100 indirectly.

Dynegy Midwest Generation, Inc. Vermilion County

  • A grant of $32,000 to assess the economic and engineering impact of retrofitting the Vermilion Power Station #2 Unit with the ClearStack "Ashworth Combustor."

Electric Power Research Institute     St. Clair County

  • A grant of $150,000 to expand EPA air quality monitoring efforts at the St. Louis Supersite to provide greater speciation of organic and metallic fractions of particulate matter.  Air quality data will be related to hospital emergency room admissions in the Metro area, including several collar counties in southern Illinois.

Fly-Lite, Inc.        Hamilton County

  • A grant of $50,000 for the expansion of the Fly-Lite manufacturing plant in McLeansboro.  Fly-Lite will begin manufacture of two additional coal combustion-based products -- post and crib elements for supporting underground workings.

Freeman Energy McDonough, Macoupin and Montgomery Counties

  • A grant of $477,346 to expand the North Grindstone-Industry Mine.  Freeman will open a new pit, extending the mine life by an additional 24 months.
  • A grant of $304,000 to install a clean coal reclaim system at the Crown II Mine.
  • A grant of $75,000 for equipment upgrades and rebuilds for the Crown II mining operations.  Freeman will completely rebuild and perform engineering upgrades to its continuous mining equipment.
  • A grant of $230,000 to install a new air shaft at the Crown II Mine.  A new shaft is needed to ensure proper ventilation for the underground working areas.
  • A grant of $425,000 to expand the coal slurry pond and coal handling facilities at the Crown III Mine.

Gas Technology Institute Cook County

  • A grant of $500,000 to construct a state-of-the-art solid fuel conversion test facility.  The pilot-scale research gasifier will be used to evaluate advanced and innovative gasification processes currently under development by the U.S. Department of Energy and the electric power industry.

IDNR Office of Mines and Minerals      Sangamon County

  • A grant of $200,000 to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Mine Safety Program.  DNR will provide new mine rescue equipment to several mine rescue teams, replacing outdated or malfunctioning gear.

Indeck-Elwood, l.l.c.  Will County

  • A grant of $500,000 to assist with the development phase of a new electric generating station planned for the Joliet Arsenal site in Elwood.  The planned plant will employ two state-of-the-art coal-fired fluidized bed boilers to generate 660 megawatts of electricity.

Knight Hawk Coal, l.l.c.         Jackson County

  • A grant of $430,000 to purchase eleven pieces of surface-mining equipment for the Creek Paum Mine.
  • A grant of $45,000 to purchase a heavy-duty crusher for the Creak Paum Mine.
  • A grant of $50,000 to purchase equipment used for final reclamation work at the Creek Paum and Pioneer mines.  Equipment purchases include low compaction dozer, a tractor, bale shredder and blower, and tillage equipment.

Liberty Coal Company Saline County

  • A grant of $191,412 for improvements to the Liberty Mine preparation plant that will facilitate 5-day operation of the plant.  These improvements will have an immediate impact in preserving existing markets and improving Liberty's ability to capture out-of-state markets.
  • A grant of $520,000 to upgrade underground mining equipment and infrastructure at the Liberty Mine.  Efficiency improvements will result in reduced operating costs and improved productivity.

Monterey Coal Company      Macoupin County

  • A grant of $920,000 to upgrade the longwall equipment at the Monterey 1 Mine.  The new equipment will reduce bottlenecks in the system that conveys coal away from the working face.

Old Ben Coal Company       Randolph County

  • A grant of $411,600 to replace aged and outdated equipment with new or reconditioned equipment, including shuttle cars, continuous miners, roof bolters and scoops.  State-of-the-art equipment and technology will improve the Zeigler #11 Mine productivity and competitiveness within the industry.
  • A grant of $240,000 to expand the Zeigler #11 mining operations into the newly-acquired Eden Reserve.  The project will extend the life of the mine by 4 years, through 2008.
  • A grant of $270,000 to expand the clean coal storage facilities at the Zeigler #11 Mine.  Project will expand the rail spur to accommodate larger trains and increase coal storage and reclaim capacities resulting in improvements to plant efficiency and reduced handling costs.

Phoenix Energy Resources, l.l.c.     Perry County

  • A grant of $19,740 for equipment upgrades that will increase the overall efficiency of the automated truck scales at the Razorback II Mine.  These modifications will allow "one tare weighing" and eliminate congestion at the staging area.
  • A grant of $80,200 for modifications to the coal wash plant at the Razorback II Mine.  Improvements will increase coal recovery and plant efficiency.

Southeastern Illinois Regional Planning & Development Commission Saline County

  • A grant of $17,000 to study the coal industry in southern Illinois to determine the opportunities, needs and incentives for new growth in the mining industry.

TAREX Construction, Inc.       Saline County

  • A grant of $500,000 to construct a new coal slurry recovery plant at the Liberty Coal Mine.

University of Illinois    Champaign County

  • A grant of $290,000 to the Illinois State Geological Survey to conduct an assessment of the coalbed methane resources of Illinois.  The Survey will conduct drillings to assess the coalbed methane resources for quantity, permeability and production.  The project will result in five commercial coalbed methane wells.

Vigo Coal Company, Inc.          Wabash County

  • A grant of $526,000 to construct an air medium coal preparation plant at the Friendsville Mine.  The plant is designed to clean 200 tons of coal per hour.

Wabash Mine Holding Company          Wabash County

  • A grant of $710,000 to upgrade roof supports and an existing beltline leading to the Western Reserve area of the Wabash Mine.
  • A grant of $455,000 to rebuild or replace continuous miners, mantrips, ramcars and roof bolters at the Wabash Mine.

White County Coal, l.l.c. White County

  • A grant of $402,968 to construct a solid coal waste refuse disposal area inside the rail loop at the Pattiki Mine.  The refuse will be transported by conveyor between the preparation plant and the pit.
  • A grant of $950,000 to complete construction of surface facilities at the new Pattiki II Mine.  The project includes erecting a bathhouse, head frame, hoist and ventilation shaft, as well as upgrades to surface coal handling systems.

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