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U.S. Coal Exec: ‘I Think We’ve Reached Our Peak’

May 09, 2017


Speaking at the Orlando, Fla., conference at the Disney Yacht Club, Dynegy’s vice president of fuel supply, Robert Hardman, noted the utility will burn nearly 30 million tons of coal in 2017, though that is expected to decline over the next several years.

“I think we’ve reached our peak,” Hardman said. “We’ve probably burned as much coal as we’ll ever burn unless we buy a lot of coal assets.”

On a May 5 earnings call, a Dynegy executive said the company has lowered its carbon dioxide emissions profile and “that’s the direction we’re continuing to move.”

“We know the assets and like you said, it was accretive to do this for these units, but I don’t necessarily see going out and using capital for … orphaned or stressed coal assets in the market out beyond what we have,” Dynegy CEO, President and Director Robert Flexon said. “I don’t think that’s our best use on allocating capital at the current time.”

Hardman said low natural gas prices, nuclear subsidies and competition from other fuel sources will likely continue to push coal use downward.

“I think there’s a perception in the country that there’s just been an immediate turnaround in the coal business,” Hardman said. “It’s not quite that simple. There’s a lot of complicating factors in our business.”

($) ‘I think we’ve reached our peak’: Coal partners not banking on a rebound

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