Last updated: July 17. 2013 3:28PM - 243 Views

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Staff Writer

FRANKFORT, Ky. - Recent massive power outages in India may be helped by a deal to furnish with Appalachian coal for 25 years.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear announced an agreement between India’s Abhijeet Group and Kentucky-based Booth Energy Group and River Trading Co. in which the Indian organization will import 9 million tons of coal a year from Kentucky and West Virginia for a cost of $7 billion.

“It’s no secret that the coal industry is in a state of flux, what with erratic market conditions, the uncertain regulatory atmosphere and the ever-changing energy picture,” Beshear said. “This creates challenges in Kentucky where mining has been a huge source of jobs and a pillar of our state economy. International exports present a promising opportunity for Kentucky coal producers and consequently for our communities whose economic vitality depends on coal.”

Booth Energy President Jim Booth said his company has the capacity to supply about 2 million tons of coal annually to India. Others coal producers in Kentucky and West Virginia will be called on the pick up the remaining 7 million tons called for in the agreement.

Kentucky Coal Association President Bill Bissett said the deal is a win-win for both coal producers and the people of India.

“With 1.6 billion people on this planet not having access to electricity, there is a tremendous international market for our coal worldwide,” Bissett said . “While we currently only export about 5 percent of our Kentucky coal overseas, we expect that number to grow.”

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