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Sale of Navajo Generating Station to new operator falls through

Associated Press
The Navajo Generating Station in northern Arizona is set to close in 2019.

FLAGSTAFF — Two companies that sought to take over a coal-fired power plant on the Arizona-Utah border have ended efforts to acquire it.

The Navajo Generating Station near Page is set to close next year amid lower natural gas prices and an environment that has not been friendly for coal.

The plant's coal supplier launched a long-shot bid to find a buyer.

New York-based Avenue Capital and Chicago-based Middle River Power showed interest but said Thursday they could not overcome the challenges. No one had committed to buying the power under new ownership.

The decision is a huge blow to the economies of the Navajo and Hopi tribes, which rely on coal revenue.

The current operator, the Salt River Project, says it isn't actively working with any other entities.

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