MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Longview Power has filed for bankruptcy under a “prepackaged plan as a result of substantially lessened demand for electricity due to long term power-pricing pressure caused by cheap natural gas, an unseasonably warm winter, and the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic impact, which collectively have severely depressed power prices,” according to a news release from Longview.
The company will operate normally as it “quickly restructures its balance sheet,” the news release said. All vendors will continue to be paid as normal, according to officials. The majority of Longview’s lenders support the bankruptcy plan, company officials said.
“This filing is unfortunate but necessary given the current depressed power prices, which have further dropped more recently due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation and dramatic effects of the pandemic on the economy. We are fortunate to have strong support from our senior secured lenders, who under the plan will become our owners and provide needed financing. As a result, we are not planning any changes to our staffing, we expect to pay vendors in the ordinary course during the Chapter 11 process, and we will continue to operate as productively as ever. Further, we do not anticipate any change in the development of the Longview natural gas and solar projects as the two expansion project entities are not included in this Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing,” said CEO Jeffery Keffer.
The natural gas and solar project just received a go-ahead from the West Virginia Public Service Commission last week. The expansion, along with the existing plant, will create a 2000 megawatt “clean energy center,” Longview officials said.
Company officials describe Longview as “the most efficient and lowest cost coal-fired power plant in PJM and one of the most environmentally compliant and cleanest coal plants globally.”