The Dolet Hills Lignite Company is going to transition from three dragline operations to one beginning early in 2019. That will be accompanied by a reduction of approximately 135 workers at the Oxbow Mine.
Dolet Hills is a subsidiary of SWEPCO and the Oxbow Mine supplies lignite to the CLECO Dolet Hills Power Station. Peter Main, spokesperson for SWEPCO told The Journal, “The power station is transitioning from year around to seasonal operations. They will generate electricity during the warmest months, typically June through September, or when requested by the regional power group.”
The change in the power generation schedule is the reason for reduction of the workforce at Dolet Hills Lignite’s Oxbow Mine. Main said, “We will continue mining year around, however we are transitioning from three draglines to one. That will result in a reduction of the number of workers at the mine, which is 274 at present. The number of employees at the Oxbow Mine will be down to 140 by the end of 2019.”
“The approximately 135 employees who are affected are being offered other opportunities with SWEPCO or the parent company, American Electric Power,” said Main. He added, “We recognize and value the contributions of our employees who safely mine coal for the plant. We will be helping those affected with a severance program.”
The Journal asked Main for specifics and he said he did not have a list of the specific positions that would be eliminated, and he did not have a specific date for the layoffs to begin, but he said it would begin early next year. And the mine workforce would be down to 140 by the end of 2019.