ConocoPhillips and Peabody Energy have filed an air permit with the Commonwealth of Kentucky to site a state-of-the-art coal-to-natural-gas facility near Central City in Muhlenberg County.
The facility, to be known as Kentucky NewGas, is expected to produce enough energy to provide for nearly three quarters of a million Midwest homes. If approved, the project would create 1,200 skilled jobs during a four-year construction process, 500 long-term jobs and nearly $100 million in regional economic benefits each year.
“Greater use of Kentucky coal in clean energy projects is the ultimate solution for re-energizing our regional economy, creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in direct economic benefits over the long term,” said Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear. “Projects like this demonstrate Kentucky’s global leadership in advancing clean energy projects, and they enjoy rock solid support: More than 80 percent of Kentucky residents support coal gasification, which mirrors strong national support for coal.”
This state-of-the-art “mine-mouth” gasification project would use ConocoPhillips proprietary E-Gas technology to produce clean synthesis gas that is transformed into clean-burning natural gas. ConocoPhillips and Peabody Energy say Kentucky NewGas will meet regulatory standards to protect the environment, including adoption of low emissions design criteria, anticipated to be less than 5 percent of the emissions of a comparably sized traditional coal plant.
In conjunction with Peabody’s plans for a coal-to-gas facility, the company has withdrawn its air quality permit application for its proposed 1,500-megawatt Thoroughbred power plant, a project that was also planned for Muhlenburg County. Peabody and ConocoPhillips are seeking to build the new coal-to-gas facility at the same site that was originally planned for the Thoroughbred power plant.