Warrior Met Coal Plans Walker County Barge Facility Amid Major Expansion
May 5, 2020 - Warrior Met Coal Inc. plans to invest $50 million to construct a barge load-out facility in Walker County to support its expanding metallurgical coal mining operation near Tuscaloosa, a project that will add 12 new high-paying jobs.
Warrior Met Coal is the state’s largest producer of met coal, used as a key component of steel production. The barge load-out facility, located in the southern portion of Walker County, will become integral to transporting the company’s coal production, according to David Knight, executive director of the Walker County Development Authority.
Image: Warrior Met Coal
The Brookwood-based company announced plans in February to construct and develop a new underground mining facility in northern Tuscaloosa County. Construction on the new project began in March, and operations are anticipated to begin during the last quarter of 2025.
This new mining operation in Tuscaloosa County involves a total investment of $578 million and will create 371 jobs.
“Warrior Met Coal’s growth plans will provide a significant injection of economic vitality into Alabama’s coal country, and the high-paying jobs being created by the company will benefit many families and communities in this region,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.
“Warrior Met is making bold strategic plans for the future, and we look forward to working with the company as it launches this expansion.”
Warrior Met Coal was founded in 2017 and currently operates two mine sites near Brookwood. The company’s production is exported through the Port of Mobile’s McDuffie Coal Terminal to steel manufacturers in Europe, South America and Asia.
“Coal production has always been vital to our community. I am pleased that businesses continue to see the value of coal production in west Alabama by expanding the ability to produce coal at the Warrior Met facility,” said Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed of Jasper.
“Most importantly, I am glad that the expansion will create important new jobs and increase the economic impact in our region.”
Knight said more than 200 current employees of Warrior Met Coal reside in Walker County, according to company representatives. Average starting salaries with the new mine jobs are anticipated to be around $85,000 per year.
“The combined impact of the new mining operation and loading facility will have a huge positive impact on the economy and people of Walker County. We are thrilled to have been able to work with Warrior Met Coal on this exciting project,” Knight said.
Image: Warrior Met Coal
Alabama Rep. Tim Wadsworth of Arley said the jobs being created by Warrior Met Coal will be a boost to coal industry in House District 14.
“The partnership between Walker County Development Authority and Warrior Met Coal will help the coal industry for years to come,” he said.
The company currently has the operational capacity to mine about eight million tons of coal per year from more than 300 million tons of recoverable reserves, according to its web site.
“For the last century, the coal industry has provided the economic engine of Walker County, and we are pleased that this project is moving forward,” Walker County Commission Chairman Jerry Bishop said.