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First Major U.S. Coal-to-Liquids Plant to be Built in Benwood The nation’s first modern coal-to-liquids plant will be built in the Marshall County Industrial Park in Benwood, WV. Consol Energy Inc. and Synthesis Energy Systems Inc. (SES) intend to jointly develop their first U.S. coal gasification and liquefaction plant in an $800-million investment. Consol and SES have formed Northern Appalachia Fuel LLC (NAF) to develop the new plant. Gov. Joe Manchin and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, with support from Sen. Robert C. Byrd and West Virginia’s Congressional delegation, company executives and officials from the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED) announced the project in July. Coal will be converted to synthetic gas using SES proprietary technology. The synthetic gas will 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. As envisioned, the project will include a river terminal facility, where products will be stored in tanks for off-loading into barges for delivery to energy users. According to press reports, the West Virginia Development Office offered incentives worth up to $196 million to the Consol Energy and SES joint venture. When Gov. Manchin and the companies announced plans for the plant, Manchin’s office said Consol, SES, the state and the Regional Economic Development Partnership had signed a memorandum of understanding under which the state and the partnership will provide financing and tax incentives to the project over a 10-year period. The state will provide the project team the Economic Opportunity Credit-a state tax break that allows a company to apply 20 percent of a project’s investment as a credit against the company’s corporate net income and business franchise taxes over 10 years. The value of this incentive is projected to be $160 million, but is limited by the project’s actual state tax liability, the memo reads. The memo also says that if the project moves forward as planned, the Regional Economic Development Partnership will host a meeting with the Marshall County Commission, at which time the joint venture can request a tax-increment financing plan agreement with the county for utility and major infrastructure improvements. The tax-increment financing plan is estimated to be worth up to $35 million. Tax-increment financing uses increases in property tax revenues from a designated district for infrastructure improvements. The memo also says the Regional Economic Development Partnership will sell the joint venture 23.5 acres […]
The automotive sector continues to be one of the most successful industries in North America. But, global competition, emerging eco-trends, and innovations are changing the playing field.