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 Conn-Weld Serves This Generation and Cares About the Next

Recently, CoalZoom had the opportunity to visit Conn-Weld Industries, LLC. of Princeton, WV. The company is best known for its custom engineered vibrating screens, which are used around the world and Conn-Weld takes pride in manufacturing equipment from raw material to finished product. Conn-Weld provides onsite support, measuring to direct fit, maintenance seminars, and a selection of other services.

Founded in 1975, Conn-Weld was begun on a philosophy of service and support to the industry that stands above the rest. Jim Connolly, founded the company, when he came up with a patented welding process to weld wedge wire screens and manufacture them faster than anybody in the industry. Five years later, the company started producing its own wire and continued its growth pattern by expanding its products and markets. With that came the need to expand its physical location and build up its workforce. So, from 1975 to today, Conn-Weld has been on a path of expansion, starting with their original building, which was literally a garage, to the 500,000 square feet of production that exists today. Conn-Weld is global with employees and representatives all over the world. The Princeton Plant has over 300 employees.

Anna Semonco, Director of Marketing & Business Development, and Marvin Woodie, CEO

“About 60% of our business comes from the coal industry,” explained Marvin Woodie, Conn-Weld’s President & CEO. “Vibrating screens and sieves are our main products. We manufacture and service vibrating screens for washing coal, and also all the parts that go with that. Screen media is also a big part of our production here at Conn-Weld as well.”

Woodie is surrounded by a strong management team. The Director of Marketing and Business Development is Anna Semonco and she is also from southern West Virginia. The CFO is Melissa Wood. She and Woodie went to school together, but didn't know each other as well then as they do now. She came on board to take over the Accounting Department as well as Human Resources. The Vice President of Engineering, Anthony Fink, is from Princeton, West Virginia. He went to WVU Tech and got his mechanical engineering degree. He started at Conn-Weld in the mid-'90s and has been with the company ever since.

The Vice President of the Aggregates Division, Sean Weisiger, from Richmond, Virginia. has his Master's in Mineral Processing. He provides an array of services to the industry as well as sales. Conn-Weld just hired Joe Teague for the role of Vice President of the Hard Rock and Industrial Minerals Division, and Rob Clemons is the Manager of the Coal Division. Conn-Weld is blessed with a strong upper management team, strong mid-management, and excellent people throughout the facility.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com. 

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News.


US Power System Set to Cut Coal Use to Record Lows

Utilities in the United States are on track to cut the share of coal in national power generation to record lows over the coming months, as the heating demand season ends and output from clean power sources such as solar and wind farms hits record highs.

During the first three months of 2024, coal's share of the overall U.S. power mix has been around 16%, according to data compiled by LSEG, down from 17% during the same period a year ago and 24.3% during the first quarter of 2021.

Since March 1, that share has dropped to 12.6%, the lowest for that period going back to 2021, and likely the lowest ever.  


Coal's share of U.S. power generation could slip below 10% for first time

If heating demand drops off as usual during April and May while generation from solar and wind sites picks up, power producers will likely be able to trim coal use further in the coming weeks, potentially to less than 10% of the total.

Such a low share for coal generation would mark a key milestone for climate watchers looking to phase out use of high-polluting fuels in power systems, especially in parts of the country where abundant supplies of cleaner power are available.

And even if coal use rebounds during the summer as utilities crank output to meet demand from power-hungry air conditioners, the potential dip of coal's share into single digits this year suggests that total halts to coal use might be viable at times within the coming years.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News

West Virginia Treasurer Announces Four More Banks on Restricted List

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore on Monday added four more financial institutions to the list of those he said are boycotting investments in fossil fuel companies.

“These banks are actively cutting off access to capital for fossil fuel companies,” he told miners at the Tunnel Ridge Mine in Valley Grove Monday. “This has a serious negative impact on keeping coal mines open and coal miners working.”

West Virginia Treasurer Riley Moore speaks with miners at the Tunnel Ridge Mine in Valley Grove on Monday.

Photo by Joselyn King

Moore is also a Republican candidate for West Virginia’s District 2 seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in the May 14 election.

Moore announced the following firms are now ineligible to provide banking services to the state of West Virginia after they were found to be cutting off funding to fossil fuel companies: Citigroup Inc.; TD Bank, N.A.; The Northern Trust Company and HSBC Holdings PLC. Already on the list were BlackRock Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co.

“This means they have lost the ability to bid on any financial services contract with the state government of West Virginia, and that is pretty broad and wide and goes all the way to the university systems,” Moore explained.

He does believe the threat of sanctions is forcing some financial institutions to re-evaluate their policies as they pertain to lending money to fossil fuel companies.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.  

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News.


America’s Coal Associations Calls on Senator Bob Casey to Fully Support the Coal Industry

In response to correspondence and comments made by U.S. Senator Bob Casey regarding Iron Senergy’s Cumberland Mine located in Greene County, Pennsylvania, America’s Coal Associations unite to call upon Senator Casey to immediately cease his rhetoric and acknowledge his Congressional record does not support his expressed concern for the coal industry in Pennysylvania or nationally. 

Senator Casey has had many opportunities over the past two decades to advocate for all the above energy policies necessary to ensure a diverse, reliable, and resilient grid. Instead, Senator Casey has repeatedly  advocated for misguided policies like the Mercury Air Toxics Standards rule and the Clean Power Plan, both of which were later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, but not before the damage was done. Now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking its second stab at similar rules, and we call on Senator Casey to have the courage to push back against these and other misguided policies that will shut down American coal-fired power plants, directly impact American coal workers, jeopardize the reliability of our electric grid, and make our nation less energy independent.

The greatest threat to the continued operation of the Cumberland Mine is bad federal and state policies, which are forcing the premature retirement of coal-fired power plants. Grid operators such and PJM and MISO and federal agencies including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the National Energy Reliability Commission (NERC) are warning that our electricity supply is becoming unreliable and large parts of the country face the risk of rolling blackouts. It is time that Senator Casey uses his voice to stop EPA from issuing new rules designed to shutter coal-fired power plants and promote sensible energy and environmental policies that provide a future for the coal industry, keep the lights on, and protect jobs like those at the Cumberland Mine.

We stand ready to work with Senator Casey, the Congressional Coal Caucus, and his state and federal colleagues to keep Pennsylvania's coal industry and coal miners working.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.  

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News


During Bitter Cold Coal Comes to the Rescue Again

When the polar vortex slammed much of the country in January, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) member Mark Christie spoke up about the irreplaceable role dispatchable capacity, namely coal and gas, played in keeping the lights and heat on when power demand peaked. Now, a new report from Energy Ventures Analysis (EVA) goes deeper into the numbers, underscoring just how irreplaceable that dispatchable capacity was across the country as demand soared. 

What EVA found is telling: Coal and gas rose to the occasion while wind faced huge fluctuations in availability and solar “was entirely or almost entirely absent during peak electricity demand hours.”

EVA’s analysis compared the performance of each energy source during early January before the arrival of bitter cold with their performance during the peak of the weather event. Every megawatt of power was needed: the storm set new single-day electricity demand records in SPP and ERCOT and set the second-highest electricity demand records in the Southeast, the third highest in PJM, and the fourth highest in MISO.

EVA found that, “Once again, the coal power fleet was a principal source of increased power generation to meet demand during the January 2024 winter storm.” And the authors – rightfully – presented that finding with an ominous word of caution: “However, another 98 GW of coal-fired generation capacity, or more than half of the currently operational coal fleet, is announced to retire by 2035.”

In other words – and as our friends at America’s Power have also observed – the very capacity that again and again comes to the rescue during winter weather events is being driven off the grid by regulatory pressure and market failure.

To continue reading, click here to view the full article on CoalZoom.com.  

CoalZoom.com - Your Foremost Source for Coal News


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