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A Few More Details About the India Coal Deal Emerge

Financial news service SNL has a story out todaywith a few more details about the deal that was announced earlier this week between Kentucky coal producers and an Indian company.SNL found out that the coal will be traveling by barge via the port at New Orleans. What's interesting for Kentucky--and probably not too surprising to those in the coal industry--is that saying "nine million tons a year for 25 years" isn't really accurate.SNL reports that production will ramp up to nine million tons, but it could take several years. John Grantham, vice president with River Trading Co. Ltd., told SNL Energy that about 120,000 tons of coal would be delivered in the first shipment to India conglomerate Abhijeet Group. Plans ultimately call for the delivery of up to 9 million tons annually of Kentucky and West Virginia coal to Abhijeet, although Grantham said it could be several years before the volume reaches that level as infrastructure might need to be installed to handle that amount of traffic by barge or rail. River Trading, a coal sourcing and trading firm, has docks on the Kanawha River in Marmet, W.Va., and on the Big Sandy River near Huntington, W.Va., that will be used to transport the coal to Gulf terminals, he said. River Trading would also be responsible for procuring the coal under the deal and blending it to the customer's specifications.About two million tons will be provided by Booth Energy, with the rest coming from other Kentucky and West Virginia producers.Another interesting point to note from SNL's story: reporter Dan Lowrey couldn't get anyone to verify the $7 billion figure Governor Steve Beshear's office put out in the news release.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.