Coal-to-liquids plant in West Virginia is first in US
30 July 2008
The state of West Virginia plans to lead the USA in the supply of alternative energy by proposing a coal-to-liquids project which will process coal in a more environmentally friendly way than traditional power plant. The synthetic gas prodced by the new project would be used to produce methanol that can be used as a feedstock for the chemical industry.
Nation’s first modern coal-to-liquids plant to be built in West Virginia
Gov. Joe Manchin today joined Sen. Jay Rockefeller, with support from Sen. Robert C. Byrd and West Virginia’s Congressional delegation, and officials from Consol Energy, Synthesis Energy Systems (SES) and the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED), to announce a project that will help propel the State of West Virginia to the forefront of national energy leadership: The construction of the nation’s first modern coal-to-liquids plant in the state’s Northern Panhandle.
“It’s clearer than ever that one of the biggest issues our state and country faces is meeting our energy needs,” Manchin said. “Technological solutions like this plant at Benwood will lead to more environmentally friendly ways to use our coal and hold the key to America’s energy security.
“I am committed to making West Virginia the leader in clean coal technology and the construction of clean coal power and fuel liquefaction plants. We have the resources and expertise to realise our goal.”
Rockefeller said the project will give West Virginia an opportunity to show the world that the state is a global leader in energy issues and modern coal technology. “We are in the midst of a serious energy crisis in America. Today, with this project and others in the works, West Virginia is announcing to the world that we're not waiting around anymore,” Rockefeller said.
Consol, and SES intend to develop through a joint venture, their first U. S. coal gasification and liquefaction plant in West Virginia -- an $800 million investment.
“This project has the potential to transform West Virginia from a major coal-producing state to a national energy centre as well,” said J. Brett Harvey, president and CEO of Consol Energy. “By converting some of our region’s abundant, high-Btu coal into gases and liquids, not only will we create economic value for the state, but we will help West Virginia become the linchpin of American energy security,” Harvey said.
Tim Vail, president and CEO of SES, “Together with our partner, Consol Energy, we will be taking a first step toward securing energy independence in the U.S. as we convert raw and residual coal from Consols’s Shoemaker mine and plant into gasoline in an environmentally responsible and cost-efficient manner.”
Consol and SES propose to site the plant near Benwood in Marshall County on a brownfields redevelopment site. The plant is expected to be a “mine mouth” facility with feedstock supplied directly from Consol’s nearby Shoemaker complex. The feedstock will be a blend of run-of-mine coal and coal otherwise not recovered in the normal preparation process.
Coal will be converted to synthetic gas using SES proprietary technology. The syngas would be used to produce about 720,000 metric tons per year of methanol that can be used as a feedstock for the chemical industry. Officials expect the project will be capable of converting methanol to about 100 million gallons per year of 87 octane gasoline. NAF is negotiating with ExxonMobil Research and Engineering to license their proprietary methanol-to-gasoline technology. As envisioned, the project will include a river terminal facility, where products will be stored in tanks for off-loading into barges for ultimate delivery.