Alpha Natural Resources Inc. and some of its wholly owned subsidiaries filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Richmond.
The relief from the filing will allow the company to reorganize and continue normal business operations during that time. The company operates more than 50 underground and surface mines and more than 20 coal preparation facilities in Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Wyoming.
Alpha Chairman and CEO Kevin Crutchfield said the U.S. coal industry is in a state of influx with increased competition from natural gas, an oversupply of global coal, historically low prices due to weaker international and domestic economies, and increasing government regulations. However, he says the company should be able to emerge from bankruptcy as an improved company.
“While a difficult decision, this voluntary Chapter 11 filing is the right strategy at the right time for the future of our business,” Crutchfield said. “It will enable us to build on the significant steps we have taken over the past several years to restructure our debt and protect our operations. I am confident Alpha will emerge from this process as a stronger company, with a diversified resource base and better positioned for the future.”
The current management team is expected to remain in place throughout the bankruptcy.