TransGas Development Systems LLC (TGDS) is reportedly planning to build a coal-to-liquids (CTL) plant in West Virginia, company officials announced during the West Virginia Energy Summit this week.

TGDS has filed a permit to build the $3bn facility in Mingo County.

Projected to be operational by 2013, the plant will be built in Mingo County’s new energy park near Gilbert. The construction phase is expected to generate 3,000 jobs.

When fully staffed, the facility will employ as many as 200 workers, with TGDS estimating that the facility will use up to 3 million tonnes of locally mined coal per year to produce more than 6.5 million barrels of gasoline.

Just weeks after gasworld exclusively discussed with Foster Wheeler the potential of coal and CTL projects as one of the answers to our energy security dilemma, this announcement reinforces the confidence held in CTL as a means of fuelling our energy needs.

Governor Joe Manchin echoed this confidence and reflected on the announcement as he said, “West Virginia remains firmly committed to advancing coal-to-liquids technology. We are excited that TransGas Development Systems shares that goal and is prepared to invest in our state.”

“The decision to construct this coal-to-liquids plant will encourage more efficient use of our coal, help create more job opportunities and will continue us on our path to secure a more stable and independent future in energy.”

Senator Jay Rockefeller would appear to concur with this belief, commenting, “What we need are serious initiatives that put West Virginia coal at the forefront of meeting our nation’s energy needs, while also creating good jobs and making meaningful investments in our state.”

“West Virginia needs to focus on projects that will deliver and put us on a path toward a promising energy future that I know we can and will achieve through tomorrow’s clean coal.”

TGDS has signed a licensing agreement with Uhde Corporation of America for use of the new PRENFLO gasifier reactor. The proprietary technology is under authorised license from Uhde GmbH, Germany and handles all types of coal, as well as petroleum coke, char and biomass.

The facility will be served by two 1,000 MWth PRENFLO gasifiers in the
Direct Quench version (PDQ), using a catalytic process to produce gasoline.

“Coal must be a central part of our nation’s energy future and with such a high-profile investment in coal-to-liquid technology this new plant will help ensure that is the case,” said Rep. Shelley Moore Capito.

“This is an exciting announcement for our state, and it will be a clear example of the important role West Virginians and coal-to-liquid technology can play in making our nation more energy independent.”

TGDS worked with the West Virginia Development Office and the Mingo County
Redevelopment Authority (MCRA) to develop the project.