Plans Unveiled For Four Billion Dollar Coal To Liquid Fuel Plant

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Plans are unveiled for a four billion dollar coal to liquid fuel plant in eastern Kentucky.

Officials say they already know where it will be built in Pike County.

Leaders didn't announce an official plant Monday, but announced their plan to get one here.

A one year study shows the Big Shoal site in Pikeville is the best spot, and now state and federal officials are jumping on board, saying Monday we need to build this to slash gas prices, and help the Appalachian economy.

Pike County and state leaders say billions of tons of coal leaves the region.

“We want that to change,” says Wayne T. Rutherford, Pike County Judge-Executive.

Instead, the plan is to keep it in eastern Kentucky, and go to Pike County and turn into liquid fuel.

“To produce our own transportation fuels with our own people, and we need to be doing that,“ says Rep. Rocky Adkins, House Majority Leader

“(This) will allow the United States to become energy independent and free of foreign oil, and money going overseas can actually be invested back in the United States,” says Kimberly Wells, Summit Engineering.

Local, state, and national Leaders want to build a four billion dollar coal to liquid fuel plant in Pikeville. A study says the Big Shoal Site is the best spot because it is near U.S. 23, a railroad, and an airport, and can easily get coal from Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia. Now they're looking at making the plans become a reality.

“Something that can be achieved,” says Rep. Adkins.

Organizers say the plant will be environmentally friendly and use clean coal technology.

“We have to breathe the air like anyone else, and we don't want to do anything to the ozone. We don't want do damage it,” says Rutherford.

Officials say they don't want to use taxpayer dollars to build it, and instead are looking for investors to pay the four billion dollar price tag.

“To us, that is a whole lot of money, but it is not in the energy crisis,” says Rutherford.

Developers believe the money will be well-spent, saying it will instead pay for itself in the long run and create thousands of jobs, and pump millions of dollars into Eastern Kentucky.

“We can turn this into a tremendous opportunity for our people,” says Rep. Adkins.

But they say this is just the beginning, and there is a lot of work before it will be a reality.

State leaders say the energy incentives passed last year are already drawing interest for investors. Senator Jim Bunning plans to discuss this in Washington in a few months as well.

Rutherford also says the air force says they're on board to buy the liquid fuel and help where needed.


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  • by Bernd Location: Leslie Co on Sep 11, 2008 at 05:10 AM
    The funds for building such a facility can be made available in the form of private grant money. One simply has to know where to look. When successful, an investors funds are guaranteed, no taxes have to be raised nor tax concessions have to be made, no bond issues or levies extracted, no loans to be created. True private banking sources can be accessed and generate the needed funding without having to pay back the monies received. In fact, nearly all worthwhile projects can be finaced this way.
  • by lou Location: ny on Aug 2, 2008 at 05:49 PM
    what will be the name of this company? will it be listed on any exchange? please email me with info
  • by Festus Podunk Location: McCreary County Ky. on Aug 1, 2008 at 09:17 AM
    HooYah! Even if it does benefit the coal companies that by the way foot the HUGE expense of processing and getting it available, it will benefit all of us in eastern Kentucky, as well as the U.S.. At least it's native resources being used. A fossil fuel, yes. It's what we have available at the moment. Harness the power of the Sun, and you'll have all the electric-solar energy we will use for the next millenium.
  • by Eddie Location: Pikeville on Jul 15, 2008 at 09:35 AM
    Miner 49er: The reason NOT to put it in a more SouthCentral location like Laurel county is because in Pike, it is actually CLOSER to more coal producing counties than it would be in Laurel, and therefore cheaper on the transportation costs. In case you haven't noticed, Pike IS the biggest coal producing county in the state. Also, with the new I-66 slated to come through and hook up with 23, it will provide more East-West transportation access instead of driving North in order to get to 64, or almost 2 hours West to hook up with 75. Additionally, there are plans in place to expand the airport here to make it big enough for commercial business, railroad access is already in place, and we are a bit closer to the coast than Knox or Laurel would be. If you look at the map, the I-75 and I-64 corridor benefitted the most from easy access, and that is what the purpose of running 66 through here is: to open this WHOLE region. Central and SC Ky got theirs, it is time now for E. Ky. to benefit
  • by Ben Location: United Kingdom on Jul 15, 2008 at 08:05 AM
    This seems a short-sighted - getting hooked on another fossil fuel that will begin to run out just like oil is about to. How about making a concerted effort to dramatically increase fuel efficiency and weaning ourselves off oil completely? In Europe we now have 75 mpg cars - the technology developing at break-neck speed to deliver leaps in efficiency. Electric vehicles, powered by electricity generated from renewable energy sources is the answer. Oil use needs to be curtailed now before peak oil and ever-escalating prices do the job for us.
  • by Diane Location: Mt. Sterling on Jul 15, 2008 at 06:32 AM
    This should be just one of many ways to get us off of foreign oil. We should be off shore drilling, exploring wind,solar, and nuclear power etc. Bio fuels are a joke. They take more energy to make than to produce. They are just touted by the climate change wacko's to starve the surplus population. They believe that any attempt to preserve society will harm the earth. Read their stuff it is super scary.
  • by Bill on Jul 15, 2008 at 04:41 AM
    Yea put your gum boots on.It won't happen. But Wayne T is better then most, he see's a future.Big plus, he's not out russling cattle like the last bunch.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 15, 2008 at 02:55 AM
    jimmy think of how much coal is in the mountains and you actually think ALL the coal goes to electricity nope what is needed for that is used and the rest is exported
  • by Mrs Brock Location: Bledsoe on Jul 15, 2008 at 01:01 AM
    Everytime something is supose to go to Harlan County or Leslie County, it ends up somewhere else and I believe that is what will happen with the plant. Especially Leslie County, is left out every time.I think it is totally wrong that other countys get everything!
  • by nealson Location: pikeville on Jul 14, 2008 at 09:21 PM
    I think this will be a turning point for Pikeville and create a prosperous future.
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