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Pike County officials announce new natural gas to synthetic fuels plant

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) -- 6:00 p.m. Update:

Bringing dozens of high paying jobs to the region, that is the headline of an announcement made today in Louisville.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo alongside Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford called Thursday a proud day and a good day for Eastern Kentucky as they announced the first step to bringing a natural gas to liquid plant to Pike County.

Announcing preliminary approval for up to 18 million dollars in tax incentives to RCC Big Shoal which is a company that converts natural gas to various synthetic oils.

Bill Johnson with RCC Big Shoal says Pike County is a great choice for the company. He said “There is a great amount of human resource here, people wanting to work, with good intentions.... plus with the amount of natural gas wells in Eastern Kentucky makes it an ideal location.”

The facility will produce 1,700 barrels a day, creating 30 full time jobs in the first unit making about 34 dollars an hour. This will bring high wage jobs aimed at helping coal miners and their families.

Pike County Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said, “They can come retrain these workers..15-17 percent are already college educated, we've got some of the best welders in the world, best hydraulics people and these are high paying jobs.”

Officials say as Americas energy capital they must get with the times and create clean energy projects

House Speaker Greg Stumbo say “It is a glimmer of hope; we do have other options to use our natural resources and bring jobs to the area.”

Now since this is the first step, leaders say there is not a clear timetable yet but say it is a multi year project, right now they are looking at a 3 to 5 year range.

Leaders say they still have about 14 non disclosure agreements out with various companies so there will be many more announcements to follow as they reveal more information about the plant.

Once completed, officials say the plant will employ more than 50 people.

Original Story:

Pike County, Kentucky could soon be the location of a $193 million natural gas-to-synthetic fuels plant with an estimated production of 1,700 barrels a day.

Thursday afternoon, the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority gave preliminary approval for $18 million in tax incentives to RCC Big Shoal LLC.

RCL Chemical Conversion LLC of Delaware owns more than 20 percent of RCC Big Shoal.

The proposed project would create 30 full-time jobs paying average hourly wages of $34, not including benefits.

A possible start date was not announced at Thursday’s KEDFA board meeting.

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