Peabody Energy raised eyebrows with its July announcement that it was partnering with oil trader Vitol and startup Arq in an effort to convert coal waste into oil products. But officials from the companies involved say the deal suggests a willingness from the coal industry to consider unconventional revenue sources.
The partnership is focused on a process that Arq says would grind up coal waste, freeing up hydrocarbons to be blended into oil products and used in motor fuel.
Vic Svec, Peabody’s senior vice president of global investor and corporate relations, said the partnership is environmentally friendly, will cut costs by eliminating fines arising from coal waste disposal and, most importantly, could allow the St. Louis-based coal company to expand into new markets.
“One hundred percent of our earnings come from electricity generation or steel markets currently,” Svec said. “The opportunity to expand that is certainly worth exploring.”
Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch