The four types of coal used in energy production are classified by the amount of carbon they contain as well as how much heat energy they can produce. Lignite is the lowest-ranked, however, power plants in Texas commonly use it, due to its abundance across a large area of the Lone Star state.
"Efficient practices and power plants in close proximity are essential components for a successful mine," said Sabine Mining Company Production Manager Robert Fitzgerald. "One of the first things to determine is if there are long-term reserves. Usually that's enough available tons to run for at least 30 years. Then, you need to find a single customer that can design its plant based on the characteristics of the available lignite."
Sabine Mining Company — one of more than a dozen operations under the North American Coal Corporation umbrella — put the model into practice 35 years ago. Opened in 1984, it quickly began delivering lignite to its sole customer, an adjacent power plant.
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