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Longview Power, coal supplier file for bankruptcy

Aug. 31, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

MORGANTOWN -- The developer of a $2 billion coal-fired power plant in north-central West Virginia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Friday but said neither its workers nor its customers will be affected in the short term.

Longview Power LLC said in a press release that it and Mepco Holdings LLC intend to operate while they negotiate with lenders to "de-risk" their balance sheets. Payroll and benefits to 95 plant workers at the Longview Power Plant in Maidsville won't be affected.

Longview CEO Jeffery Keffer called the filing in Delaware bankruptcy court "a necessary and prudent step" to strengthen the business and operate without interruption.

Morgantown-based Mepco owns or operates three active underground coal mines and one active surface mine in northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. A new 4.5-mile conveyor belt runs directly from Mepco subsidiary Dana Mining Co.'s 4 West coal mine in Pennsylvania to the Longview complex.

The plant burns 2 million tons of coal a year, and 90 percent of that comes from Dana, which employs 350-400 coal miners.