Plans are moving forward for the construction of a coal-to-diesel fuel conversion plant in Muhlenberg County that will be the first large-scale facility of its kind in the country.
Muhlenberg Fiscal Court has designated $625,000 from its coal severance allotment program to the joint partnership between Kentucky Fuel Associates Inc. and Fuel Frontiers Inc., a subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based Nuclear Solutions Inc.
In addition, Kentucky Fuel Associates has applied for up to $2.5 million in state grant money for the project. The company has also applied for another $2.5 million grant for a second plant to be built somewhere in Western Kentucky, though a specific site has not yet been determined.
Construction on the Muhlenberg County project is set to begin next year and will require 300 workers to complete the facility. The plant is expected to be operational by 2011 and will provide employment for approximately 80 workers.
The plant will produce 70 million gallons of diesel fuel annually from coal and Kentucky Fuel Associates President Garry Sparks noted that the plant operations will also have ultra-low greenhouse gas emissions and will self-generate its own power needs after start-up.
Sparks added that at their fully developed capacity, each of the two facilities would consume 500,000 tons of Kentucky coal annually and employ approximately 200 people.