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April 8, 2002

Governor Announces $14 Million in Coal Infrastructure Grants

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced 34 Coal Infrastructure Grants, totaling more than $14 million, to improve coal production and transportation systems in Illinois.

The grants will leverage about $130 million in private spending for equipment upgrades, facility expansions, road improvements and other infrastructure investments aimed at improving the quality of Illinois coal and making Illinois producers more productive and cost competitive.

The Illinois Coal Infrastructure Program has been key to bringing the latest technology to the Illinois coal industry and making Illinois coal cleaner and more affordable to use,” Gov. Ryan said. “This program has created and saved many jobs in the Illinois coal industry. It has sustained our coal operators through a difficult period and encouraged them to make those investments necessary to ensure a future for coal mining in Illinois.”

Since the program was launched in 1996, DCCA's Office of Coal Development has awarded more than $62 million to 180 projects.

“With $416 million in private investment leveraged by this program, we have a coal industry poised to help us meet the energy demands of Illinois citizens and businesses well into the 21st Century,” Gov. Ryan added.

In FY2001, the state awarded $15 million in Coal Infrastructure Grants.

"The people who produce, transport and burn Illinois coal are tough and resilient and have overcome great obstacles,” said DCCA Director Pam McDonough. “Their response to this program has been more enthusiastic with each passing year. With each project, we are improving the marketability of Illinois coal and the competitive position of our industry.”

A list of the grant awards follows.


Ameren Energy Generating, Montgomery County

  • A grant of $850,000 to assist in improvements and modifications to the Coffeen Generating Station facility will allow for the continued use of Illinois coal. This will allow the utility to meet strict SO2 standards while increasing capability of the power generator.

American Coal Company, Hamilton County

  • A grant of $900,000 to aid the construction of new ventilation shafts, service boreholes and extend the existing underground infrastructure to accommodate an expansion of the Galatia Mine. Current reserves will be depleted in 2003. The mine anticipates 15 years of additional mining at the new Hamilton County reserve.

Arclar Company, LLC, Gallatin and Saline counties

  • A grant of $600,000 will aid the opening of a new mine and ensure the retention of over 600 jobs. The Willow Lake Mine Complex will purchase vital equipment necessary to access new reserves while decreasing production costs.

  • A grant of $950,000 to assist in the purchasing of new and rebuilt underground mining equipment. A recent explosion and fire at the Big Ridge Mine resulted in significant loss of underground mining equipment. Emergency funding will allow for the continued operation of the company.

Black Beauty Coal Company, Vermilion County

  • A grant of $260,000 to assist with various improvements including upgrades to the preparation plant, equipment upgrades needed to continue the Riola Mine's competitive position and re-pavement of public access roads.

Corn Belt Energy Corporation, Logan County

  • A grant of $32,000 will help pay for the analysis of soil and subsurface drillings confirming proper engineering of plans for foundation and piling placement associated with the Low Emission Boiler System. The study will confirm the suitability of the site for Corn Belt’s new 90-megawatt generating facility.

Dynegy Midwest Generation, Inc., Mason County

  • A grant of $250,000 to be used for improvements to the coal handling facility that will increase the shipping capability of the coal dock on the Illinois River and reduce transportation costs for Illinois coal.

Freeman United Coal Mining Co., Macoupin County

  • A grant of $195,000 toward the cost of rebuilding continuous miners used at the Crown II Mine. Improvements and upgrades to the equipment will increase productivity and reliability at the mine.

  • A grant of $40,000 to assist with equipment improvements that will allow raw coal to be loaded at the face onto a conveyor increasing productivity and efficiency at the Crown II Mine.

  • A grant of $448,000 will help fund the construction of a raw coal storage facility needed to achieve the production goal of 3 million tons of clean coal per year. Storage will be increased by 25 percent allowing for greater efficiency in the reclaiming of coal at the Crown III Mine.

  • A grant of $260,000 to assist with upgrades to four continuous miners, which will allow for safety and efficiency improvements to the working sections of the Crown III Mine.

Galatia Township, Saline County

  • A grant of $120,600 to improve and upgrade a roadway which will reduce transportation costs making delivery of Illinois coal more competitive and help reduce maintenance costs to the township due to less wear.

Heartland Energy, LLC, Perry County

  • A grant of $22,000 for upgrades and modifications to the coal preparation plant and crushing facility at the Razorback II Mine.

  • A grant of $180,000 to fund equipment to be used in the reclamation process which will allow for improved soil removal and disposal applications primarily when reclaiming wetlands and prime farmland.

Illinois Fuel Company, LLC, Saline County

  • A grant of $950,000 to aid in the opening of a new coal mine. Funding will be limited to the purchase of equipment and construction costs related to the development of a new I-1 Mine complex.

  • A grant of $400,000 to assist with the construction of a new preparation plant. The new plant will convert from a “water" only facility to a “heavy media” design. This system allows recovery of more raw coal in the washing process at a high rate of speed.

Knight Hawk Coal, LLC, Jackson and Perry counties

  • A grant of $342,000 to assist in increasing mine efficiency and competitiveness while allowing for safer transportation of coal. Updates to the Creek Paum Mine’s infrastructure will include construction of a coal blending system, installation of auger sampling system and the resurfacing of the main haul road.

  • A grant of $175,000 to assist in the extension of the Pioneer Mine that currently produces 50,000 tons of coal per month. Extension of the mining operations will allow the mine to produce 2 million tons per year.

Liberty Coal Company, LLC, Saline County

  • A grant of $465,000 to assist in the opening of a new mine that intends to employ 175 miners. Funds will be used to leverage capital necessary in order to provide for mine construction and improvements to existing infrastructure.

Monterey Coal Company, Macoupin County

  • A grant of $365,800 to assist in equipment upgrades needed to ensure reliability when mining the entire panel in a longwall operation. Upgrades will allow the mine to reach maximum levels of production needed to meet customer needs.

  • A grant of $360,000 to assist in the purchase of mining equipment to keep up with the demands for increased production levels. The project will lower production costs at the mine.

Old Ben Coal Company, Randolph County

  • A grant of $539,000 to assist in preparation plant upgrades to the support systems, raw coal handling system, clean coal load-outs and refuse handling system. Work will include modifications to ensure optimal performance.

  • A grant of $440,000 for construction of a 10,000-ton ground storage facility adjacent to the coal preparation plant. The facility will have a 1000-ton per hour delivery rate and will be integrated into the existing clean coal load-out system.

Power, Inc., Saline County

  • A grant of $390,000 to assist in the construction of a power dock needed to handle 5 million tons of coal annually. Higher capacity will reduce overall operational costs.

S Coal Company, Williamson County

  • A grant of $300,000 to assist in the opening a new mine that will employ up to 40 miners. Funds will be used to purchase equipment needed to fulfill a 5-year coal contract.

Saline Valley Conservancy District, Saline County

  • A grant of $322,000 to assist in the construction of a 1.5 million gallon storage tank to provide additional water to its primary customer, Sugar Camp Coal Company, as well as serve the general needs of the residents of Saline County.

Southern Illinois Power Cooperative, Williamson County

  • A grant of $800,000 for improvements to the Marion Power Station’s coal handling system. These improvements will support a new circulating fluidized bed boiler presently under construction at the station. The increase in capacity of 300 tons of coal per hour will result from upgrading existing conveyors and purchasing new conveyor equipment. (Note: Grant previously announced on March 28, 2002).

Village of Galatia, Saline County

  • A grant of $312,120 to assist with the replacement of 49,000 linear feet of water main. The water will primarily be used for the employee bathhouse and longwall operations at the Galatia Mine.

Village of Sauget, Madison County

  • A grant of $230,000 to assist in funding the construction of the Sauget Sports Stadium. Portions of the walkways and concourses will utilize fly ash concrete in a demonstration of the beneficial use of this coal combustion byproduct.

Wabash Mine Holding Company, Wabash County

  • A grant of $287,000 to fund several equipment upgrades needed to ensure competitiveness. Upgrades will provide better reliability and efficiency in coal production at the Wabash Mine.

  • A grant of $444,000 to upgrade six miles of mainline conveyor beltline servicing the Wabash Mine. Improvements to the roof support system throughout will increase mine safety.

  • A grant of $600,000 to assist with the construction of a new shaft to access an additional 30 million tons of coal reserves at the Wabash Mine. This is the first phase of a four-phase project to make $42 million in infrastructure improvements at the mine.

White County Coal LLC, White County

  • A grant of $950,000 will aid in accessing new coal reserves through the development of a second production and support portal. The Pattiki II Mine will extend its life by 20 years, securing 206 jobs

  • A grant of $250,000 to install a new vertical coal conveyor belt. The new system will increase the rate and efficiency that coal can be brought to the surface.


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