FLEETS

Full steam ahead for Navajo with locomotive delivery

Navajo mine owner Navajo Transitional Energy Co (NTEC) this week unveiled the next step in the growth of its operation in New Mexico, US: two General Electric (GE) locomotives that will handle coal transport from the mine to the Four Corners power plant.

Staff reporter
LoRenzo Bates and Tuchoney Slim Jr with officials from NTEC, Bisti Fuels Co, and employees at Navajo mine. Photo: NTEC

LoRenzo Bates and Tuchoney Slim Jr with officials from NTEC, Bisti Fuels Co, and employees at Navajo mine. Photo: NTEC

The company took delivery of the pair in early July. They replace three electric locomotives that NTEC said were outdated.

Both new locomotives meet federal EPA Tier 4 emission standards. With a weight of approximately 426,000lb (193,230kg), they are capable of producing nearly 4,500hp (3,356kW) each.

The unveiling was made August 23 at the complex at a ceremony attended by Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) and Council Delegate Tuchoney Slim, Jr. (Bodaway/Gap, Coppermine, K’ai’Bii’To, LeChee, Tonalea/Red Lake).

“Moving forward, there are challenges due to the competitive energy market and regulations,” Bates said at the event, calling the new equipment a sign of progress as well as a sign that the company is setting the operation up for the long-term future.

The new units are also a symbol of the new ownership of the mine, and a symbol of the new operators, NTEC chief executive Clark Moseley added. “The diesel locomotives will create a safer environment for Navajo mine. By removing the catenary system, we removed the overhead power line and allows for better maintenance of the railroad track.

“Safety is a primary concern for us.”

The Navajo mine is the first coal mine to be owned by a North American tribe.

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