As supplies shrank, prices rose. In August 2003, when the PSC last set Georgia Power's fuel charge, central Appalachian coal was going for $30 to $35 per ton, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, based on data from Platt's Coal Outlook. The price hit $45 per ton by January, about $57 per ton by March and more than $65 by the end of 2004.
Another interesting tidbit is the following:
Nevertheless, the core of what Georgia Power says happened to its fuel supplies in 2004 did in fact happen, not only to Georgia Power but to other coal-fired power companies.
I do recall that someone has already asked if Mirant was affected. I cannot say for sure one way or the other. However, given the close management ties between SO, which owns GA Power, and our distinguished Marce Fuller et al, I believe it is fair to conclude that whatever decisions SO made vis-a-vis coal supply contracts, were probably done at Mirant as well.
That explains Mirant's current plan to buy coal from South America instead of buying it from US mines.
As to your question regarding shipment on coal, I have seen it customary that utilities purchase their coal " delivered " much like many of us buy anything. Based on that article coal for power plants was going for $ 65 per ton in Dec of 2004. I expect that to be higher now along with other fuel price increases like oil and gas. Thus, your $ 44 / ton delivered is not probable.