Sunday, October 1, 2023

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NTEC: Takeover of mine, NGS is feasible

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times


Navajo Transitional Energy Company officials last Friday outlined more details of an acquisition strategy for both Kayenta Mine and its sole customer, Navajo Generating Station.

NTEC officials said plans to acquire NGS in LeChee, Arizona, and the mine on Dzilyíjiin, located 75.7 miles southeast of LeChee, would be at no cost to the Navajo Nation.

NTEC officials are proposing to assume liabilities and existing escrow funds obligated to decommissioning NGS and reclaiming Navajo Mine in return for the plant and Kayenta Mine assets. “(For) most people, it’s kind of difficult to understand,” said Steve Grey, governmental and external affairs director at NTEC.

“But it’s important to the Navajo Nation. There’s good-paying jobs and economic activity in (that) area.” Grey says when economic activity is measured, payroll is also measured. “If you look at our payroll here at Navajo Mine, it’s about $45 million – just payroll,” Grey said. “Then you ask yourself, ‘Well, what do these people do when they get paid?’ They buy wood, they go buy gas … groceries … clothes for their kids. “They spend money, right?” he said.

“So, that money circulates all around, especially in the Navajo economy. And then you look at all the vendors.” Navajo Mine has a total of 400 vendors that supply everything from furniture to tires for their heavy equipment. The cost for those things is $60-to-$80 million.

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