A West Virginia company last week announced plans for a $1.2 billion coal-to-liquids plant to be built in Mason County, West Virginia, Kallanish Energy learns.
The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection last week approved a draft construction permit for the project, to be located on more than 200 acres of land along the Ohio River, roughly five miles north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia.
The direct coal liquefaction (Dcl) facility at the Mason County Industrial Park would use coal and natural gas to produce ultra-low sulfur diesel, gasoline, liquefied petroleum gases (Lpgs), elemental sulfur and flake product.
“The site in Mason County was chosen for many reasons, such as the site having access to transportation by river, rail, and highway. The utilities are also available to this property,” Kevin Whited, president of Domestic Synthetic Fuels (DS Fuels), told West Virginia media.
The direct coal-to-liquids process to be utilized in Mason County mixes coal with a catalyst and hydrogen derived from natural gas and subjects the mixture to heat and pressure. A similar facility in China has been operating since 2008, according to DS Fuels.
The resulting fuels burn cleaner than those refined from petroleum and are just as effective in vehicles. Products produced at the facility will require additional refining, Whited said.
The Mason County facility will differ from previous coal-to-liquids projects proposed in West Virginia, Whited said. The technology is more advanced and the direct method used does not burn coal, but subjects it to heat and pressure, making the process much greener, he said.
The facility would use 23 million cubic feet per day of natural gas, and 2,500 tons per day of thermal coal, yielding 10,750 barrels (451,500 gallons) of fuel per day.
Funding has been secured for the project, which includes international investors, Whited said. All financing for the project is being done via private investment, he said.
“Unlike prior coal-to-liquids projects proposed in the Mountain State, this is going to happen,” Whited said. “We have the money, we have the technology and we have the expertise.”
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