AEP seeks to buy coal for power plants
* AEP seeks 60,000 tons a month of coal for 2013
* AEP coal burns in 2012 seen down from 2011
* Natural gas plants displacing some coal plants
Sept 14 (Reuters) - American Electric Power Co Inc said Friday it was seeking offers for coal, delivered by rail or barge, to one or more of its generating stations.
In a release, the Ohio-based company said it was seeking spot proposals for up to 60,000 tons of coal per month, with deliveries beginning in January 2013 and ending in December 2013.
The company said it would accept proposals with alternative terms. Proposals are due Sept. 26.
In May, AEP said it was seeking offers for up to 2 million tons of Northern Appalachian coal per year to supplement its existing commitments.
In May, the company said it expected to burn about 55 million tons of coal in 2012, which would be down from about 65 million tons in 2011.
In 2008, before the economic downturn, AEP was burning about 75 million tons a year.
Coal usage is down this year for all utilities because of weaker power demand due in part to a mild winter and very low natural gas prices which allow gas-fired plants to displace coal units in record numbers.
AEP, like other utilities, has added more natural gas plants to its fleet over the past several years and is using some of those gas plants as baseload units running around the clock to take advantage of the lower fuel costs.
AEP delivers power to more than 5 million customers in 11 states and owns almost 38,000 MW of generating capacity, including more than 9,400 MW of natural gas-fired plants and more than 25,200 MW of coal-fired plants.
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