Bethlehem Steel Corp. announced yesterday that it intends to sell most of the coal operations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia of it's BethEnergy Mills Inc. subsidiary and some coal reserve properties.
The steelmaker said that it intends to sell all coal reserve properties of its Primeacre Land Corp. subsidiary, which holds coal properties in West Virginia, and of its Pennacre Land Division, which hold properties in Pennsylvania.
A Bethlehem spokesman, William Gigmac, said that the sale is part of the program of divesting assets not directly related to the company's core business of steelmaking.
Mr. Gigmac said that the company will continue to be a major purchaser of coal used in the production of steel.
Bethlehem could not estimate the price of the properties.
Mr. Gigmac said that the company has no coal holdings in Maryland.
The coal operations to be sold are: Mine 84, near Washington, Pa.; Eagle Nest Inc., near Van, W. Va.; and HPH Corp., near Summersville, W. Va. Both Eagle Nest and HPH are subsidiaries of BethEnergy.
The three mines, which have a total work force of about 820, will continue to operate normally during the sale process.
Bethlehem said that it plans to retain and continue to operate BethEnergy's Cambria Mine 33, near Ebensburg, Pa. This mine provides high-quality, metallurgical coal to the company's steel plants for the production of coke used in the making of steel.
The underground Eagle Nest coal facility recently underwent a $13 million modernization program. It has annual metallurgical coal production capacity of 1.6 million tons.
HPH is a surface mining operation opened in 1985. It produces about 2.5 million tons per year of low-sulfur steam coal for the power generation market.
Mine 84 is an underground operation that produces about 2 million tons of coal a year for the steam power plant and metallurgical markets.