Alpha Natural Resources filed a plan today outlining how it hopes to emerge from bankruptcy. At the heart of the plan is a proposal to sell the company’s core assets, including its Wyoming mines.
The 165 page document still has to be approved by a bankruptcy court in Virginia. But it would start the process of selling some of the company’s strongest assets, including its natural gas business in Pennsylvania, and its mines in the Powder River Basin, Eagle Butte and Belle Ayr.
Alpha’s main lenders have made an opening bid of $500 million dollars for all of those assets but the company is hoping for higher, third-party bids. Mines and other assets not included in the sale are generally considered less profitable. They would stay part of Alpha, which would become a smaller company, focused on environmental reclamation of its former mine sites.
In documents, Alpha lists low coal prices, a glut of cheap natural gas, slowing demand in China, and government subsidies for renewable technologies as reasons why it is now in bankruptcy. It also puts much of the blame on federal environmental regulations.