Description of Services

CoalTech provides a variety of services including:


Owner’s Engineer for New Coal Handling Systems or Upgrading Existing Systems

During the past 22 years, Randy Rahm has consulted to utilities utilizing Sub-Bituminous Coals. CoalTech will provide assistance in the development of the coal handling specifications, design review, project site monitoring and associated services, startup and commissioning assistance and observation, witnessing of performance guarantee tests, progress reporting, and other services as may be required by the Owner.

Mr. Rahm has over 40 years of experience in the coal industry with over 30 years of experience specifically in handling and storing Sub-Bituminous coals. There is a right way and a wrong way to approach handling Sub-Bituminous coals. As a client of CoalTech, you will receive information on the application of the best practices in the industry for handling and storing Sub-Bituminous coals safely and efficiently. CoalTech’s clients will not be serial number one for any of these technologies. Throughout his career, Mr. Rahm has visited or consulted to over 150 coal-fired plants in the U.S., Canada, Africa, United Kingdom, Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Between this experience and Mr. Rahm’s association with the PRB Coal Users’ Group, he has come to know the industry inside and out. This depth of information is priceless when it comes to helping new clients to control coal spillage and combustible dust mitigation through the application of proven technologies. CoalTech will arrange plant visits with other utilities that have operational experience with these technologies and provide firsthand experience case studies to help explain best-in-class solutions.


Expert Witness/Arbitrator for Cases Related to the Coal Industry

Mr. Rahm has been retained by utilities as an expert witness in several coal related arbitrations and lawsuits and has provided expert reports and testimony. He also has testified in a coal related antitrust lawsuit for the FTC in Federal Court in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Rahm was a party appointed arbitrator in an AAA arbitration in a coal industry related dispute. A decision was rendered by the panel of three arbitrators following the arbitration hearing.


Sub-Bituminous Coal Handling Safety and Fire Training & Assessments

CoalTech will provide a site-specific coal handling training. The Coal Handling Safety and Fire Protection course is designed for those individuals that handle or may otherwise be exposed to Sub-Bituminous Coals. Those who work in coal handling operations and maintenance will benefit from this course and be able to recognize hazards related to this unique coal. Once hazards are understood, attendees can take the appropriate actions to protect themselves and others from harm while also protecting the plant assets. In addition, for those involved in designing a new coal handling system, this course will provide direction to address these hazards correctly the first time and avoid rebuilding the system shortly after operation starts.

CoalTech provides a comprehensive assessment of coal handling systems for combustible dust mitigation. The assessment works to integrate the current design with an approach of options that offer choices for balancing risk, reliability and cost, while effectively reducing combustible dust and spillage throughout the coal handling system.

The assessment will include all areas from the receipt of coal at the plant, through storage and reclaim to the silos/bunkers in the generating units. CoalTech will make recommendations on how to implement the best-proven technologies in the industry today. The risks will not be reduced by installing new equipment. Results occur when a combination of the new equipment and management practices are put in place. CoalTech will bring the latest management practices and examples of successes at other utilities. Priorities will be established based on the impact to personnel safety, potential impact to operations, along with required maintenance and housekeeping based on the current condition of the system. The assessment will document hazard identification, causes, and recommendations for mitigation.

It is simple. You either manage Sub-Bituminous coals or Sub-Bituminous coals will manage you. Complacency in handling Sub-Bituminous coals cannot be an option.


Project Specification Development

When a project is competitively bid, the owners get the bare requirements to handle and store the coal unless the latest best available technologies are specified upfront for all of the bidders to include in their proposals. It is imperative to have the plant operators included in the project specification development whether it is a completely new system or upgrading an existing system.

CoalTech brings the experience you require to work with the owner’s engineer or directly for the owner to ensure your project has the best available technologies and the requirements to be compliant with the company’s, local and government regulations. CoalTech reviews and comments on your proposed project specifications to help ensure the plant receives a safe system with the lowest operating cost when complete. CoalTech also provides initial site layout concepts to minimize your risk and maximize your efficiencies. Do it right the first time.


Coal Beneficiation Process Analysis

While at Amax Coal West, Mr. Rahm managed the world’s largest Sub-Bituminous coal dryer. During the four years of operating the coal dryer Amax preformed extensive research into reducing the reactivity and dust in the dried coal product. Mr. Rahm witnessed and evaluated power plant test burns using various blends of run of mine and dried PRB coals. He led the product testing and evaluations on nearly every enhanced coal process in the market during the 1990’s for Cyprus Amax.

Many companies have come and gone in the enhanced coal processing. Mr. Rahm has the hands on experience to assist your company evaluate any enhanced coal process on the market today.


Coal Fire Investigations

If you have a fire and/or an explosion, you want to know the source or cause. Randy Rahm has been directly involved in numerous fires and explosions (probably more than he would like to admit) associated with coal drying. CoalTech has the experience participating in coal fire and explosion investigations involving conveyors and dust collectors at utilities, steel mill coal process systems and those related to coal drying.


Coal Handling Fire Protection Engineering Services

CoalTech has an alliance with a leading coal handling fire protection engineering company. A properly designed fire detection and suppression system in a coal handling system is the first line of defense against a fire. The coal handling industry has very few properly designed fire protection systems. CoalTech’s fire protection alliance partner provides a fire protection system assessment with recommendations for upgrading the system to the latest technologies in fire detection and suppression specifically for coal handling systems. The alliance partner has the full capabilities to design and install a new system or upgrade an existing system.