Alabama’s coal industry posted a gain in 2018.
According to the Alabama Coal Association, the state exported 11 million short tons of metallurgical (met) or “coking coal” last year.
Valued at $2 billion, the met coal was shipped through the Port of Mobile to steel manufacturers in Europe, South America and Asia.
“Met coal is a made in Alabama product that is quietly helping fuel our state’s economic engine,” said Patrick Cagle, president of the Alabama Coal Association. “The industry’s impact is irreplaceable, from the thousands of high-paying jobs at underground met coal mines in the Tuscaloosa and Jefferson County area to generating almost half the revenue at Alabama’s Port.”
According to the Alabama Coal Association, coal miners in Alabama receive a starting salary of $85,000.
Met coal exports accounted for 70 percent of the state’s coal production, while steam coal made up the remaining 30 percent.
It is also a big driver of activity at the Port of Mobile. The McDuffie Coal Terminal generates about 50 percent of the total annual revenue earned by the Alabama State Port Authority for its operations at the port.
“Alabama export coal is vitally important to the port’s and the state’s economy,” said James K. Lyons, director and chief executive officer for the Alabama State Port Authority. “We’ve invested over $150 million in shoreside infrastructure at our McDuffie Coal Terminal to support our mining industry, and we are working hard to modernize the harbor to keep our mining companies competitive with overseas coal mines.”
The market for Alabama’s met coal is expected to remain high, leading to more growth for the industry.
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- On March 12, 2019