Bluefield Coal Show a Huge Success
September 16, 2019 - Ending on Friday afternoon, the Bluefield Coal Show, this year with 197 exhibitors, including 40 new ones, was hailed a huge success! The thousands of attendees were excited to be at the show and generally optimistic about the future of the coal industry, despite the challenges faced, as they converged on Bluefield in three days of beautiful sunshine.
“I am very happy with the show,” said Bob Ramsey, General Chairman of the show and President of Peters Equipment and Ramsey Industrial, both family owned companies. “The breakfast meeting was excellent and it was great to have Jimmy Brock, President and CEO, CONSOL Energy, in town to give us an optimistic view of coal. That really ramped up the start of the show.”
“It’s a great pleasure to welcome everyone to the Bluefield Coal Show and the first day is always an exciting one,” said Bill Reid, Chair of the Media and Exhibitor Appreciation Breakfast. “We are expecting thousands to attend, but there is one important person missing,” Reid said, and asked everyone to bow their heads in a moment of silence in appreciation of the show’s founder and long-time chairman, Charlie Peters, ‘Mr. Coal Show’, who passed away in May last year.
Reid also paid tribute to Buddy Miller and his late dad, Frazier, who between them had run this breakfast since 1976. Reid thanked the members of the media for promoting the show and asked them to stand and introduce themselves. Present from the media were: Randy Mooney, Bluefield Daily Telegraph; Steve Fiscor, Vic Matteucci, Coal Age; Debra McCown Thomas, Lisa & Chuck Roper, Mining People; Michael Choppenhorst, Kyle Nickol, SEMCO Publishing; Frank Brady, WVVA- TV; Heather M. Turner, CoalZoom.com/Coalminerexchange.com; Reid also thanked the exhibitors present for supporting the show and attending the breakfast in large numbers. Reid thanked all the other dignatories for their support of both the show and the coal industry.
“The coal industry has experienced growth, change, triumph and challenge,” said Reid. “Although challenged by the remnants of the war on coal and abundantly cheap natural gas, there were some bright spots in the industry.” Reid referred to three new met coal mines being developed: Arch Coal New Leer South: CONSOL Energy, Itmann Mine; and Contura Energy, Lynn Branch Mine. Together, these new mines would need about 1,300 employees with another 5,200 indirect workers dependent on these. That’s a total of 6,500 jobs and that’s great news!
Ramsey, addressed the breakfast: “It is a privelage to serve as the General Chairman for the 2019 coal show, honoring the tradition set forth by our former Chairman, the late Charlie A. Peters. The show remains “A Coal Show for Coal People” and it was out of deep respect for Charlie and his family, that I agreed to help guide and promote this important event for our area and our industry, in his memory.” Ramsey said that there is a total of 197 exhibitors including some 40 new exhibitors and paid tribute to so many dedicated volunteers from inside the industry and from within the community as well as the hardworking chamber staff, who make it a success!
A new feature of the show is the 1st Annual Charles A. Peters Excellence in Business Award Presentation which was presented to AMR/PEMCO, deemed the exhibitor that has supported the chamber the most throughout the 23 biennial years of the coal show. The award was presented by Daphne Peters and Bob Ramsey and accepted by David Graf, President; Bob Graf, CEO; and Jay Johnson, Vice President – Sales and Marketing for the company. Jay Johnson introduced the breakfast speaker, Jimmy Brock, President and CEO, CONSOL Energy, who delivered a Keynote Address he called “Coal and the Changing Energy Landscape”.
“Globally, coal is a growth industry with a massive installed capacity base catering to a basic human necessity – access to electricity,” Brock said. “Domestically, coal demand is impacted by abundant natural gas but that could be changing. Natural gas will not stay cheap forever, and coal provides resiliency, which is very visible during extreme weather events. Coal continues to supply the lowest fully-loaded cost of electricity and as an industry, we will have to continue to invest in talent and new technology.”
David Graf, Bob Ramsey, Dafney Peters, Bob Graf, and Jay Johnson Celebrate Peters Excellence Business Award
At the conclusion of the breakfast, attendees made their way to the front of Brushfork Armory – Civic Center to witness Brock cut the ribbon and open the show. CoalZoom.com estimated there were well over 6,000 visitors to the show over the three days.
‘It was great to have large numbers of decision-makers, executives, miners, planners and purchasing people from all the coal producing states of the nation and certainly, a good cross-section of the mining industry was here,” said Ramsay, who also expressed his deep appreciation for the volunteers who manage the show. “We have a two-page list of volunteers who run all this and this great show simply could not happen without them!”
For Jimmy Brock’s full remarks, click here.