Future uncertain for Beulah mine workers
By Annette Tait
In 2012, four years must have seemed like an eternity to employees at the Beulah mine. October 2012 was when Otter Tail Power Company announced it had secured a new coal vendor for its Coyote Station coal-fired power generation plant, and would allow its long-term lease with Westmoreland Coal Company’s Beulah mine to expire.
The decision marked the end of a review process begun in 2010, when Otter Tail issued a request for proposals for coal supply to North Dakota lignite providers, and also considered use of western subbituminous coal. Review of expiring contracts and use of competitive bidding are common business practices companies use to ensure they are getting the best value for dollars spent on materials and services. Coyote Creek Mining Company, LLC, a subsidiary of The North American Coal Corporation, was selected by Otter Tail through this process.