Navajo firm appears into shopping for northern Arizona coal mine

Navajo company looks into buying northern Arizona coal mine

A Navajo Nation vitality firm learning the acquisition of a coal-fired energy plant on the reservation says it is wanting into the mine that provides it, too.

The tribal authorities requested the Navajo Transitional Vitality Firm in October to look into buying the Navajo Producing Station close to Web page alongside the Arizona-Utah border. Its homeowners are closing it in December, citing cheaper energy from pure gasoline.

The vitality firm says it desires to maintain the plant and Kayenta Mine open for a minimum of one other 10 years to protect lots of of jobs held largely by Navajos, in addition to the income. The corporate’s board met lately and mentioned it might pursue each.

“NTEC will not be going evenly into this enterprise, I guarantee you that,” the corporate’s chief government, Clark Moseley, instructed tribal lawmakers in late December.

The corporate was created to purchase a coal mine in northwestern New Mexico and owns a 7 p.c stake within the close by 4 Corners Energy Plant. Moseley mentioned that have will assist the corporate clear what had been a serious hurdle for different firms that pulled out of negotiations for the Navajo Producing Station final 12 months — discovering somebody to purchase the facility.

Utilities more and more are shifting away from coal as an influence supply. Moseley cited preliminary findings in saying entities have an interest, however he did not title any.

NTEC spokesman Erny Zah mentioned the corporate couldn’t go into particulars but about energy gross sales or the prices of buying the mine and energy plant due to non-disclosure agreements.

Peabody Vitality owns the Kayenta Mine and had launched a long-shot bid to discover a new purchaser for the facility plant to maintain its personal enterprise. Peabody mentioned Monday it helps continued operation of the mine however did not reply to particular questions on a possible sale or whether or not it might function the mine below tribal possession.

No agreements have been reached, Zah mentioned.

The Navajo Nation depends closely on the coal business for income. Incoming tribal President Jonathan Nez and new lawmakers, who shall be sworn in subsequent week, could have a say in whether or not the tribe owns the facility plant and mine.

Dozens of individuals protested the likelihood final week at a particular session of the Navajo Nation Council. Nadine Narindrankura, who lives about 30 miles (50 kilometers) from the Kayenta Mine, helped manage the protest. She mentioned she’s fearful Peabody is making an attempt to push its obligations for restoring the land to pre-mining circumstances and making up for the water utilized in mining operations onto another person.

She and different environmentalists have advocated for the tribe to focus as an alternative on renewable vitality.

“With a purpose to change issues we actually need to make this shift occur the place our economies are diversified and we’re not counting on issues that destroy our subsistence from the land,” she mentioned.

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