Steel News

Alabama Coke Plant Sold to Coal Mine Operator

8/8/2019 - Coal miner Bluestone Resources Inc. has acquired a 100-year-old Alabama merchant coke plant, saving a facility that was in danger of closing, it said in a statement.

Bluestone, which owns mines in West Virginia and elsewhere, belongs to the Justice family and is led by Jay Justice, son of West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice.

Terms of the sale were not disclosed. 

The facility dates back to 1920, and, according to AIST records, it has 120 ovens divided across three batteries. The batteries date to the 1950s.

"To be clear, this plant would have closed soon due to a dwindling coal inventory and inoperable ovens that are necessary to manufacture coke,” said plant manager Bill Potter.

“With Bluestone stepping up to the plate, we can sustain our coal inventory and repair the ovens – adding about 40 more jobs. It's truly a blessing to be able to continue supporting our great employees and provide new opportunities for more Alabamans."

The company employs approximately 210 workers, the majority of whom are members of the United Steelworkers union.

“This deal is a great development, not only for Bluestone and our great West Virginia employees, but also for the people of Alabama and the more than 200 women and men who work at the plant every day. I'm really pleased that we were able to come in and preserve it for years to come," Jay Justice said in a statement.